January 7, 2013
CES 2013: Panasonic Brings Facial Recognition, More To Smart TVs
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Panasonic showed off some new features of their upcoming LCD and plasma televisions during a press conference at CES, including a new way to share pictures as well as a way to wrangle all of those smart TV apps that may clutter the screen.
With My Home Screen, owners of the latest line of smart Viera TVs can create their own, personalized welcome screen loaded with apps and their favorite channels. Televisions are rarely a solo-affair, of course, and these new TVs allow for multiple home screen accounts. Rather than leave it to the user to switch the home screen, this new feature uses facial recognition to instantly know who's watching. The new Viera TV then changes to the Home Screen of the person watching. No word yet on how this feature responds in a room full of faces.
Another important point made at the Panasonic presser (and elsewhere at CES) is the important relationship between mobile devices and televisions. Panasonic's approach to bring these to devices together is called Swipe and Share. Introduced last year, Panasonic has upped their game, introducing new edit capabilities directly on the television.
Owners of the newest Panasonic Viera televisions will be able to share pictures from their mobile devices with the television using just a simple swipe. This functionality also allows the television to work as a gateway of sorts between mobile devices. Just as photos can be swiped to the television, they can also be "pulled" from the television to another device. As explained by the Panasonic team, users can instantly display photos of their family vacation on the Viera television while their guests can pull these photos from the TV using their mobile devices.
Once the photo is on the television, users can even make edits to the image, such as adding captions or cropping. These edits are made using Panasonic's Touch Pen and can be made by drawing directly on the television screen.
Panasonic's new 55-inch plasma TV has even been recognized as an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards honoree in the Video Display category.
Panasonic also took time to mention a few new partnerships, such as with the Home Shopping Network as well as the Smart TV Alliance.
The new line of Viera TVs will offer a home shopping experience right from the remote control. Users can quickly scan through the catalog of goods from HSN, watch videos and even read reviews before buying the product, all right from the television.
Panasonic also proudly mentioned their recent partnership with the Smart TV Alliance, a group that aims to improve the performance of smart TVs by opening up the platform to innovation.
This alliance was formed by LG, Toshiba, and TP Vision in June 2012. During today's press conference, Panasonic said their first order of business is to work with their partners and develop an SDK for future development.
Panasonic didn't have much to show off during their press event, but urged members of the press to check them out on the showroom floor later this week. We'll be sure to bring back plenty of pictures and video of Panasonic's latest offerings, so stay tuned to redOrbit.com for more CES coverage!