TrustedReviews is live at the Panasonic press conference in Las Vegas for CES 2016.
Smart Cities and smarter homes
Panasonic invited Michael Hancock, mayor of the City and County of Denver, on stage early on to talk about working with the Japanese tech giant to create a smart city.
“Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. We’ve become the hotspot for millennial. It’s a smart, liveable city. We're focused on keeping it accessible for people no matter their station in life. We launched the peak performance initiative to ensure we're making data-driven decisions every day.
Denver and Panasonic share a common goal. By creating a city infrastructure that’s accessible and smart, we can improve people's quality of life.
Through partnerships such as this one with Panasonic I believe we'll have smarter and safer streets and better healthcare.” explained Mayor Hancock.
Joining the smart city initiative is a smarthome called ÔRA.
According to Panasonic, the average American household has more than 100 endpoints that can connect to the internet. The aim of ÔRA is to integrate all of these into a single smart-living experience.
It’s platform agnostic, so ÔRA should – theoretically – be capable of integrating all smart-home products through one software solution.
ÔRA also joins Panasonic’s DIY Home Monitoring System, which now integrates with some Honeywell smart thermostats to automatically adjust usage for better energy efficiency.
Technics gathers steam
Panasonic hasn’t stood still since relaunching Technics in 2014.
At CES 2016, it announced a new network amplifier and music server under the Technics Grand Class G30 Series label.
There’s also a brand-new all-in-one hi-fi system called the OTTAVA SC-C500 and a stunning direct-drive turntable called the Grand Class SL-1200G. The company aims to take full advantage of the vinyl revival, with products hitting the shelves at the end of 2016.
Completing the new Technics product lineup is a set of high-end over-ear headphones – the EAH-T700.
4K is the name of the game
Panasonic has its fingers in a lot of pies, and together with announcements about smart cities, smart motoring and business, the company also spent a lot of time emphasising its 4K credentials.
A new 4K TX-900 TV gets the new "Premium UHD" badge of honour, plus Panasonic’s first UHD Blu-ray player is set to be released in the US this year.
There are also two brand-new high-end compact camera – the Lumix DMC-ZS100 and DMC-ZS60.
The Lumix DMC-ZS100 features a 1-inch CMOS sensor, 10x optical zoom and 4K video. It's the first in the range to incorporate a f2.8-5.9 Leica DC lens, which Panasonic claims will enable true-to-life images with impressive depth-of-field effects.
Panasonic also announced the Lumix DMC-ZS60, which has an 18-megapixel sensor, 4K video capability and 30x zoom.
Two new 4K camcorders are also set to launch in 2016.
Powerful kitchen appliances
Panasonic has been quietly trying to take over your kitchen, and the company may have just stepped nearer to that goal with a couple of interesting kitchen appliances.
The Panasonic Cyclonic Wave Microwave with Inverter Technology (NN-SE785S) distributes energy in a three-dimensional circular pattern, which means more evenly cooked, or heated, food instead of sun-hot edges and frozen centres.
Panasonic also announced a high-powered blender bearing an eye-watering price. Costing $599.95, the MX-ZX1800 has a two-tiered, six-blade cutting system with a powerful 1200-watt motor.
New Toughpad with keyboard
Panasonic's Toughpad range has been one of the go-to tablets for professionals working in environments where an iPad just won't last.
The Toughpad FZ-Q1 is the latest. It sports a 12.5-inch screen and comes in two configurations – Intel Celeron N2807 ($999), or the "Performance model" Intel Core i5 version ($1,699). Both run Windows 8.1.
A spill-resistant keyboard will also be available when the Toughpad goes on sale.