While most booths at this year’s IFA 2016 in Berlin will be showing off particular gadgets and services for the visitors to play around with, Panasonic is looking to create a portal to the future. Through the theme of “A better life, a better world,” Panasonic is showing off a new type of living environment, built around modern electronics in the modern home.
Perhaps the most traditional products on show are the connected appliances. Smart plugs, remotes, and sensors allow for controlling a number of devices remotely and from around the home, while smart displays on cupboard doors operate transparently unless needed. Lighting and ambient sound are also tracked and controlled automatically, with high-activity moods leading to more exciting lighting, while relaxing scenarios will see everything calm down to match what’s going on.
Smart wine cellars let you know what beverages you have stored there, giving you tips for pairings with certain foods, and letting you know when you need to stock up for that impending party. Camera-controlled hobs let you relax when cooking, knowing when to turn itself down and when the food begins to reach a readied state.
If you want to be more hands-on and experiment, cloud services can display recipes on the fly, while the interconnective nature of the various cooking implements can help you with timing and temperature control, making sure multiple dishes are ready at the right time.
For those that hate doing the washing, Panasonic even has plans for that. Its All-in-one laundry system can wash, dry, fold, and store, all in one automated process that uses image analysis.
Panasonic is also showing off its usual increasingly smart fridges, freezers, microwaves, blenders, and other food processing and storage appliances, but they are a little more typical of its year-to-year developments.
Panasonic’s idea of the smart home of the future would also give warnings if glass breaks, water leaks, motion cameras are tripped or someone tampers with any of it.
All of this is something that Panasonic believes will be found in future smart cities, the second prototype of which it is helping to build. Called Tsunashima SST, the smart city will utilize re-purposed factory land to create a smart living area that includes all sorts of modern technology to make life easier, more efficient, and more affordable for everyone.
Water usage and electricity will be down, thanks to smart meters and renewable sources, and the lives for the elderly and those with serious medical conditions will be improved. Panasonic’s own expertise is aiding in the construction of the town’s hydrogen station, allowing for clean-burning fuels as a major source of energy.
Just as exciting, Berlin is set to have some smart elements installed in the near future, as part of a project called Future Living Berlin. Construction will begin in the spring, with a single block of 69 smart, connected flats. They are expected to be ready for occupancy in 2018.