Panasonic’s 2021 CES press conference, like many, addressed the unusual nature of this year’s show and the desire to return to a sense of normalcy. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Panasonic created products that addressed the changing needs of consumers and retailers alike while also making it a priority to give back to the community. The half hour press event covered several different topics ranging from the 2020 Olympics (scheduled for July 2021 in Tokyo), the connected car, contactless solutions for retail, and more.
Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020
2020 marked the first time since 1944 that the Olympics were cancelled ,which also meant the first time in over 30 years that Panasonic was not helping to power the games. But rest assured, they are making their return this summer in Tokyo and Panasonic will be playing a major part in their return with their audio and visual elements throughout The Olympic Stadium.
The four athletes that were introduced at CES 2020 as part of Team Panasonic have been working towards creating opportunities for the next generation of athletes and giving back to their communities. Swimmer, Katie Ledecky has been passionate advocate for students inspiring new generations to pursue STEAM and STEM careers. Rising karate star, Sakura Kokumai has offered free virtual karate lessons during the pandemic while many gyms and training facilities were closed. Team captain and swimmer, Michael Phelps was the co-executive producer for the film, The Weight of Gold, which touched on the mental health struggles that many Olympic athletes face. Blind Paralympic long-jumper, Lex Gillette, has worked closely with Panasonic to spread his inspiring message: “Adapting. Giving back. And continuously moving forward.”
Contactless Solutions for Retail
Panasonic’s ClearConnect Restaurant Technology minimizes contact with customers while maximizing speed and efficiency of service. ClearConnect offers point-of-sale devices, self-ordering kiosks and drive thru systems to help restaurants continue serving customers under new regulations. Panasonic’s smart lockers create a safe alternative to food pickup that also allows food to remain hot or cold in a locked encasing. Customers receive a QR code that they scan upon arrival, the locker opens, and they’re good to go.
Entertainment in the New Normal
Panasonic has spread its talents across a number of entertainment categories from gaming to cooking. Panasonic announced the SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker (SC-HTB01) that provides full audio immersion into a player’s favorite games. The product is also a contendor for the CES 2021 Innovation Awards in the Headphones & Personal Audio category. Panasonic’s Lumix camera offers versatility to capture a range of different moments like drone shots and gimbals as well as live streaming content. The Technics True Wireless headphones let users enjoy premium sound and best-in-class noise cancellation in the home and on the go. Panasonic is also putting its HOME CHEF 4-in-1 Countertop Multi-Oven in the hands of Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer and Eugene Lee Yang, otherwise known as The Try Guys, for the ultimate test.
The Connected Car
Our cars have become our second homes during COVID-19 and like the adaptions we’ve made to our homes for safety and entertainment, vehicles deserve the same attention. On the safety front, Panasonic has introduced Augmented Reality (AR) Head Up Display (HUD) that combines AI technology from the SPYDR cockpit domain controller to render near-field and far-field content for vehicle information including speed, object and pedestrian detection, and mapping / route guidance, for a more informed and aware driving experience. On the entertainment side, Panasonic has partnered with major audio brands, Klipsch and Dolby Atmos Music to bring an immersive technology-driven sound performance on the road.
Jessica is the Chief Digital Editor for CT Lab Global Media, the North American platform for IFA Berlin.