Panasonic's connected-home concept at Ceatec

At conference outside Tokyo, company shows off a connected home that will link TVs, a video wall, home appliances, and lighting.

Panasonic connected home
Panasonic's connected home concept. Erica Ogg/CNET News

CHIBA, Japan--It won't be ready for at least three or five years, but Panasonic's Total Living Space Solution is a cool, elegant combination of all your home gadgets and appliances in one.

The display is the size of an actual living room and kitchen, set down in the middle of Panasonic's booth here at Ceatec . Since Ceatec is an opportunity for companies to show off some of their more forward-looking products, Panasonic took advantage.

The 54-inch TV (a Panasonic Viera plasma, of course) seems to be the center of the home life in the company's conception. The TV is on a stand connected to a track on the floor that moves between the living room and dining area depending on where you're at. The TV plays high-definition content wirelessly using the WirelessHD standard. Panasonic chose it in favor of the proprietary standard it formally used.

In this home concept, everything is connected, including the air conditioner and lighting. When a movie plays, the lighting automatically dims. When inhabitants move to the kitchen, the lighting comes up to a brightness more appropriate for eating a meal.

Panasonic concept connected home
Erica Ogg/CNET News

All of this has been talked about before by various electronics and chip companies, but Panasonic's also added a new element: The Family Wellness Solution. It's kind of like the Wii Fit, but way more elegant.

A family member chooses their own personal wellness profile on the TV, then moves over to a video wall. Using gestures, he or she can choose a workout, and a video-based instructor appears on screen. The system all keeps track of each family member's progress.

And, in keeping with this year's green-focus at Ceatec, there's a built-in green-friendly feature. Using the TV, the whole system's energy consumption can be monitored and optimized.

Click here for more stories on Ceatec 2008.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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