As Asia continues to experience unprecedented growth, the Internet of Things (IoT) has not only taken root in the region – it has also given rise to the connected home. With digital technology seamlessly and invisibly integrated into the modern abode, people’s lives have been enhanced by the greater flexibility, comfort and convenience of a smart lifestyle.
A connected lifestyle begins at home
Looking at the applications commonly found in a smart home today, what was once envisioned as a technological utopia is today’s very accessible reality. In fact, technology research firm Gartner estimates that more than one billion units of smart home solutions will be in use by 2017.
Leading the charge are home energy-management systems, which allow the automation and total management of household utilities (such as lighting and temperature) from a central and remote source, such as a smartphone. Such systems are more energy efficient and convenient, and also have significant implications on improving our health and security.
The applications for these technologies are virtually endless. From smart thermostats to smart air purifiers to smart refrigerators, nearly every item in the average household can now be wirelessly networked and plugged into one central management unit for the convenience and control of the savvy home owner.
A self-designed and comfortable future
To cater to the forecasted megatrends in smart home living, Panasonic created the Wonder Life-BOX initiative, an exhibition that started on 11 July 2015 and offers visitors a glimpse into a better life in a futuristic world, predictive of the possibilities of life in the years 2020 to 2030.
Under the concept of “A Better Life, A Better World”, the Wonder Life-BOX proposes a highly enriched, comfortable and independent lifestyle by taking advantage of a range of community and social services optimally suited to each person (or family), based on the information collected from smart appliances inside the house.
The main feature of the Wonder Life-BOX is the “Partner”, akin to an omnipresent, smart butler. The service aims to offers clever and gentle support to daily life through linking advanced consumer electronics and household equipment with residents’ needs and preferences.
The highlights of the showcase
The Wonder Life-BOX exhibition displays the following areas:
- Wonder Town: This is the retail component, where visitors can easily obtain information about stores and products by pointing their smartphones against signage and lights around the conceptual town. The store windows also change to display high-resolution images when it detects someone passing by, which enhances the liveliness of the town.
- Entrance: The entrance of the futuristic home features a Residential Hydrogen Infrastructure, which allows the household energy system to use environmentally friendly hydrogen to enable people to obtain energy at home, and also has an Interactive Community function, where the Partner presents common topics to spark conversation when among groups of people.
- Kitchen and living room: Through dialogue with the Partner, a series of food dishes can be devised – from simple recipes to professional culinary creations – based on the ingredients found in the refrigerator. In the living room, the locations and movements of people are detected, and images from a tablet in your hand can be screened on a wall or table.
- Bathroom mirror and bedroom: The bedroom features a Sleeping Quality Check, where the Partner manages the condition of people based on data from various sensors. In the bathroom, standing in front of the mirror will allow the Partner to scan a person’s body’s conditions and detect moods. Additionally, the mirror offers virtual makeup and outfit styling, suggesting makeup styles based on facial features, skin condition and plans for the day.
The Wonder Life-BOX exhibition provides a glimpse of a future, with the IoT generating countless possibilities for smart residential solutions and where people will be able to live a better life in a better world.
Interested visitors may go on the guided tour, only available on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese holidays at the Panasonic Center Tokyo.