Las Vegas, Nevada
Hello and welcome to our live blog of Panasonic’s press conference, one of many big name presentations on a packed media day here at the 2015 International CES.
On the Panasonic presser stage sits a big screen TV draped in a black velvet cloth – clearly this will be the big reveal for the Japanese technology icon. Also on display are a home audio system, cameras and video cameras and a selection of home appliances.
Across recent CESes and IFAs, Panasonic has continually focused more and more on its home appliance ranges, as it looks to diversify itself away from the home entertainment markets, which have been visited by vicious value erosion. While the pre-conference stage set-up suggests that a fantastic new TV is in the offing, as well as some new developments in audio (one of Panasonic’s strongest areas, traditionally), the shift to home appliances looks set to continue.
The lights go down and we begin…
…with a video showcasing all the ways Panasonic appliance assist in our everyday lives, before North American chairman and CEO Joe Taylor takes the stage.
“Over the last few years, our organisation has gone through many changes,” he says, before announcing that this year’s CES is all about in-car technology, for which he believes Panasonic has long been at the forefront. Continuing this will be the broad rollout of Personal Radio by Aupeo!, which has already been honoured with a CES Innovation Award.
Taylor continues to say that Panasonic’s battery innovation is enabling automobiles and scooters to become more energy efficient, with specific mention of Gogoro scooters and Tesla motors. Panasonic and Tesla are partnering to employ 6,500 engineers to its desert factory, to further investigate energy efficient power options.
Taylor now hands over to Julie Bauer, president of Panasonic’s consumer electronics company in the United States.
Bauer says Panasonic is “far more than a great TV company” and announces a realignment of Panasonic’s consumer product range to five pillars: Adventure, Entertainment, Digital Imaging, Home and Personal Care and Beauty.
In order to generate more content for 4K TVs, Panasonic has joined the newly formed UHD Alliance, which will see leading brands work together to best serve consumers. At this point, Bauer revealed Panasonic’s first prototype 4K Blu-ray Disc player, as well as lifting the veil on Panasonic’s new 4K LED TV, which runs a Smart TV platform based on Mozilla, creators of the Firefox operating system.
In appliances, Panasonic is investing heavily in research into the health benefits of leafy green vegetables, for the benefit of its new juicing range. There is also a new dedicated gluten-free breadmaker expected in 201