CES 2018: Creating experiences through disruptive tech6 minutes
Amid the eye-popping displays at CES, a small metal device, not much larger than a shoebox for a pair of Uggs, drew crowds of techies jostling for a close up. The device is a scalable “ePowertrain” platform including a power unit, charger and motor. Its small size struck me—especially compared to the 300-pound or so gas-fueled motor in my own car. The Panasonic ePowertrain is designed to reduce lead time for vehicle development. The renewable energy innovation and others like it are helping to fuel what Bloomberg New Energy Finance calls an “EV revolution.” As early as 2022, the cost of electric powertrains is expected to be at parity with internal combustion engines, and when that happens, we’ll see electrification take off.
Disruptive tech leading to trillions in economic value
A few years ago, McKinsey identified renewable energy, AI, advanced robotics, IoT and mobile internet among two dozen disruptive technologies that would account for trillions of dollars in economic value in the decade ahead. Panasonic is deeply engaged in almost half of these technologies. That’s important because when you’re creating entirely new experiences, chances are, you’re going to need to stitch together many of these technologies into an integrated solution. With its wide range of expertise, Panasonic is uniquely skilled at bringing together these technologies.
For the past 100 years, Panasonic has been all about creating a better experience for the consumer. We’ve done that through consumer electronics products and home appliances. More recently, we’ve increasingly created these experiences in partnership with businesses and government entities through integrated solutions that impact the lives of our customers’ customers. Our future is focused on finding ways to apply our breadth of expertise in disruptive technologies to make radically new experiencespossible. Here’s a look at a few we’re working on.
AI & retail therapy
Artificial intelligence has been called the most disruptive force in technology in the coming ten years, and at CES 2018, AI shaped everything from robots to home appliances to future stores. Retail industry analysts observe that stores using AI may see a competitive advantage and those that ignore it may not see their next birthday.
One Panasonic retail innovation at CES employs a mix of cameras, image processing technology and artificial intelligence to detect a person’s emotions. Think about the power this integrated solution brings to a salesperson who tailors her approach to a shopper who enters an establishment in a happy mood. The tech mix can also help a salesperson think about different approach for a person who enters the store in low spirits. Early results from one retailer using face recognition in a store show that shoppers registering as happy spent a third more than other patrons.
20 times greater mobile internet
Mobile Internet is another disruptive technology expected to account for significant economic value. Until fairly recently, the airline cabin was one of the last places where the digital world did not intersect with a physical environment. That meant at 30,000 feet, you couldn’t stream your latest binge-watching program.
Panasonic aims to change that with our third-generation technology. The network, when paired with a new satellite modem, is designed to offer bandwidth up to twenty times greater than what was previously available. It’s expected to open up new possibilities in Internet browsing, video streaming and voice applications.
These are just a few examples of how disruptive technologies are enabling us to bring physical products into the digital world. The work creates consumer experiences that are richer, more rewarding, safer and with less of the friction that frustrates our lives today. For business and governments delivering these experiences can mean more satisfied consumers and constituents and better, more efficient workflows.