[CEATEC 2012] Thanks to all the advancements in technology, our daily lives are becoming more and more sophisticated. What we used to fantasized about has now turned into reality for a lot of us. While some of us are happy with what we have right now, companies aren’t stopping just yet. Panasonic has an idea of what it wants our lives to be like, and at CEATEC, the company unveiled its suite of Smart Apps and appliances. Smart Apps consists of an app that runs on an Android smartphone with NFC, and a whole bunch of home appliances that are designed to work with the app: washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens and more.

Users first have to set up their profiles that contain details about them: their weight, body fat, etc – which the Smart Apps appliances can use to work with (depending on the appliances). For health, we have gadgets like the pedometer that can count how many steps you walk a day and how many calories you’ve burnt. After this data is transferred to your phone (initiated by a tap of the phone on the pedometer), your results are automatically plotted onto a graph which you can easily view and keep track of via the app.

Other ways the Smart Apps can be used is when it comes to cooking. Users can select a dish that they wish to cook and then are given an ingredient list. Users can then easily check off what they have while the missing ingredients can then be saved in a list and easily sent out to someone who’s out shopping. Once the ingredients are prepared, users can just tap the phone onto the microwave and the food will be cooked at the correct settings. Very interesting stuff, and it definitely brings a whole new level of convenience to folks who embrace this technology. However, like all other smart home technologies, this system has one flaw (in my opinion) – it forces consumers to purchase all their appliances from just one brand if they’d like total integration. While it might not be a problem for some folks, I’m pretty sure most people have different preferences for brands when it comes to different appliances and this could be a problem.

No word on a release date or pricing, but it’s something to look forward to in the future. Now, if only all manufacturers could work together and come up with a common standard. That would help accelerate smart home growth a bit. What do you think?

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