Panasonic HomeX smart hub wants to control your whole home (fridge included)

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Panasonic has put everything from televisions to kitchen appliances and air conditioning units in our homes. But we now live in a connected age where we expect our devices to speak to each other, working with us as well as for us. 

Aided by control platforms like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, we’ve seen the smart home market grow exponentially, and now Panasonic wants a bite of the connected pie. After a sneak peek at CES 2018, Panasonic’s HomeX controller has been fully unveiled during the company’s centenary celebration at the Panasonic Innovation Forum in Tokyo, Japan.

The HomeX is a smart home control panel that is integrated into your home, with a touchscreen display giving you access to all connected devices in your home.

Where HomeX separates itself from its competitors is its ability to talk to a range of home appliance devices, each of which can then talk to each other. A Panasonic smart fridge can tell the HomeX what recipes can be made with its contents, with the HomeX then showing instructions on how to make the meal, as well as then monitoring the temperature of a Panasonic cooker and potentially even tweaking the thermostat if the ambient temperature grows too hot as a result of the cooking.

This is before considering all the regular smart home functions you’d expect, such as music playback and security controls, all of which the HomeX is also capable of. Timers, alarms, weather reports – all can be provided onscreen.

It’s a learning platform too, with HomeX tweaking its suggestions and instructions based on its user’s previous interactions.

A data-driven future for Panasonic

“Home X is always connected with the resident 24 / 7,” explained Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga.

“It is in essence an information infrastructure to help understand what the user wants by season, weather or mood. Peoples’ needs change. HomeX extracts information to understand needs and set new proposals for living. 

“Depending on what the person wants, HomeX may suggest anything from music, to a hotpot recipe.”

Tsuga does not want Panasonic to enter into the smart home fight though without purpose, and knows that a connected device is only as good as the data it can extract from its users.

“Only when it provides exactly what the customer needs does it provide value. Like a living organism, a product must evolve to adapt to the person using it. Products need to be intentionally unfinished – the user creates the finished product at the time of use. 

“As symbolised by our HomeX initiative, we will not only develop products as we envision them, but will develop services and products that update over time based on what we find as they are used.”

HomeX then is part of a fundamental shift in the way Panasonic is looking to its next 100 years, one in which harnessing its customer’s data in order to deliver personalised results is just as important as the hardware it manufactures. 

Panasonic is aiming to have the HomeX in homes by 2019.