Panasonic car navigation knows way round home

Come the end of next month, one of the last refuges of escape from the digital onslaught of the modern world will be cruelly ripped from us, when Panasonic's new, fully connected sat nav system goes on sale.

The two new Strada F-Class models (confusingly called CN-HX1000D and CN-HW1000D) come with the usual array of gadgets - GPS (of course), DVD and MP3 playback, 40GB hard drive, mobile digital TV tuner, iPod link and a 7-inch Viera screen, but it's the Bluetooth link that tips the balance.

Forever connected

Drivers with a Bluetooth mobile phone can order the sat-nav to dial home to check on what's happening there. Panasonic calls this the "From Home to Car" concept, adding breathlessly that it "effectively turns a car into a second living room."

With a prod of the screen, the Strada can operate domestic appliances, such as lighting and air conditioners, or can tune into webcams around the house. It can even sent instructions to a home video recorder to get started on taping that rerun of Morse.

What's the point?

The new Strada models, which differ only in dashboard configuration, are clearly impressive pieces of kit, but do we really need to be 'always on' to such an extent?

Oh, the price? Each Strada will cost ¥355,000 (£1,750) when it goes on sale in June, with a release outside Japan highly unlikely.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.