Aug 21st, 2012

It looks Panasonic is gunning for that “Pioneer” tag in the latest home automation tech. While smart appliances are nothing new, we’re not sure there’s been a dominant market for smart appliances with NFC built-in.

Panasonic will utilize the technology inside washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioning panels. They’ve even gotten it inside a couple of counter-top appliances already, and all of it is controlled using their new Smart App for Android (Japanese).

Let’s say you want to bring up a list of recipes each time you tap your phone against your smart rice cooker — your smartphone will recognize what it’s reading from and automatically pull up a collection of recipes for you to reference.

For a washing machine, you could make one simple convenient tap of the phone to get your clothes cycling using common settings without having to fiddle around with it, or to get information on a cycle that’s already going.

Some of the appliances in Smart App will be internet enabled, too. Their air conditioning solutions will give people the ability to control the climate of their home without being there.

As someone who has run into the issue of rapidly-changing weather before I definitely see the need to be able to change your air-conditioning settings before you get home.

You can find more examples of the different appliances Panasonic is bringing out, and what they’re planning on letting you do using NFC, using the chart above.

The washing machine looks to be out September 25th, while the fridge will be available October 20th. They have the air conditioning unit listed for October 19th / November 21st — we’re not sure what that means, but let’s just assume that’s a launch window instead of two separate launch dates for now.

Unfortunately much of this doesn’t look to be headed anywhere outside of Japan anytime soon, but we’re longing for the day that everyone can get in on this wonderful use of NFC. Read on for full press details.

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Corporation today announced the significant expansion of its lineup of smart home appliances and the full-scale launch of cloud-based services in Japan dedicated to Panasonic’s home appliances ranging from white goods, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, to kitchen appliances and healthcare devices. Dubbed Panasonic Smart App and available from late September, the application will allow users of compatible Panasonic home appliances to remotely operate their appliances, program settings and see the energy savings of each appliance by using Android™ smartphones*1.

Panasonic has already been providing the cloud services for owners of the latest models of its 3-Star Bistro steam microwave oven and induction heating (IH) steam rice cooker which were launched in June 2012, enabling them to search for recipes and program cooking instructions using Android™ smartphones.

The new smart appliances which will be launched from September 25 in Japan will include Panasonic’s X Series room air conditioners, a top-mount refrigerator (NR-F557XV), drum-type washer-dryers (NA-VX8200/NA-VT8200), as well as healthcare products such as the EW-FA43 body composition monitor, the EW-NK63 calorie meter and EW-BW53 blood pressure monitor. The new air conditioners can also be operated with Apple’s iPhones™*2 as well as Android phones.

Panasonic’s smart solutions are designed to make the user’s everyday life more comfortable, convenient and energy efficient. Via the Panasonic Smart App, for example, users can control their air conditioners remotely from outside the home*3, check if the refrigerator is running efficiently, or set their preferred washing cycle using their smartphone. The new app also allows owners of the Panasonic healthcare products to create graphs tracking their weight and calories consumed by everyday activities among other things, making it easier to manage daily healthcare data. Furthermore, customer support such as checking device malfunctions will also be available.

The app will be available free of charge from the Club Panasonic website*4. By simply registering as a user of Panasonic smart appliances, users can enjoy the service. Because the Panasonic Smart App is a cloud service, users can download the most up-to-date information, such as recipes or device settings, from the server any time.

With these smart offerings, Panasonic proposes customers a more convenient, comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle.

Notes:

*1: Smartphones running on Android Version 2.3.3 or higher supporting Osaifu-Keitai®FeliCa or NFC (with some exceptions). Initial settings are required in advance when first using the Osaifu-Keitai function on smartphones. “Osaifu-Keitai” is a registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo. FeliCa is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation. FeliCa is a contactless IC card technology developed by Sony Corporation. Android is a trademark and registered trademark of Google Inc. Services cannot be used in areas with poor signal. For details on smartphones which can use this service, refer to the list at http://panasonic.jp/pss/qa/taiou_list.html.
*2: iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.
*3: In order to remotely operate the air conditioner, a broadband router, a wireless gateway (CF-TC7, sold separately) and a wireless adaptor (CF-TA9, sold separately) are required.
*4: An exclusive application, Panasonic Smart App, has to be downloaded. To download the application and access the server will require a separate communication fee.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic’s stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net/.

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