Using Cloud-enabled Home Appliances for a Better Lifestyle
We aim to develop a new cloud-based business model that offers people new value by integrating different services, apart from the traditional business of selling standalone home appliances. Partnering with Fujitsu, which has great expertise in the cloud and big data, we intend to launch a new business.
Hiroyuki Kubotani, Chief Engineer, Cloud Solutions Center, R&D Division
Human Centric Innovation
- Services based on cloud-enabled home appliances to give people a better lifestyle
- Collecting data from smartphones and performing analysis to accelerate development of new products and services
- Cloud services collecting and using big data
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Creating new value by integrating smart home appliances with the cloud
Our growing ability to interconnect electrical and electronic devices at home with computer and network will lead to new services that deliver unprecedented comfort and convenience.
As network connects everything in the society, and the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality, home electronics and white goods are being transformed into cloud-enabled, networked smart appliances. They are capable of transmitting consumer-generated data and the insights gained though analysis of this data will be fed back to households. The combination of networking, data harvesting and big data analytics will lead to innovative new services in line with personal, business, community and societal needs.
Leading electronics manufacturer Panasonic views this megatrend is an opportunity to enrich the lifestyles of the people who use its products. For example, with the participant's permission, Panasonic envisages applying big data analytics to smart appliance use data collected at the Point of Use (POU). In order to investigate the feasibility of cloud services using smart appliances, Panasonic and Fujitsu are together conducting workshops and research. The pilot project leverages their respective strengths, namely, Panasonic's data collected from smart appliances and Fujitsu's cloud technology for efficient analysis and visualization of the data.
Collect POU data on frozen foods for analysis by Fujitsu's cloud service
Panasonic's R&D Division and Fujitsu launched a pilot project in April 2013 using smart appliances and cloud technology. Logs sent from smart appliances are analyzed in the cloud. The object is to verify whether raw data can be processed into useful information affording insights into consumer behavior.
The project involves Panasonic employees, using Panasonic's steam oven in their homes. They connect to the cloud service via smartphones. The convergence service was provided by Fujitsu. Fujitsu also acts as a consultant for the project.
The first theme selected for the project is frozen food. Participants scan the barcode on the package of frozen food using their smartphone to receive the cooking data from Panasonic's data center. On the smartphone they enter the quantity to be cooked and place the device against the oven. Then, the oven automatically starts cooking for the frozen food and simultaneously sends POU data to the cloud.
The aim is to enhance the convenience of home appliances and obtain information on consumer behavior from the POU data. This gives Panasonic a greater understanding of how their customers are using their products than they ever would from Point of Sale (POS) data alone. With this they can create new products and services much more tailored to the needs of their customers.
Transforming the industry with information
Through this joint project, Panasonic has confirmed the viability of a business integrating smart home appliances with a cloud service.
Analysis of data logs from participants in the cloud reveals, for example, the time, day, quantity, and type of food consumed. Food producers can use this to develop insights around their products - from portion sizing, packaging, even down to the quality of food itself. It is envisaged that statistical data harvested from consenting consumers' smart appliances will be used for forecasting consumption of specific products, leading to better customer experience and more efficient operations.
Supermarket chains and other retailers would be able to use such a system to distribute special-offers and e-coupons tailored to meet individuals' preferences and lifestyles direct to their smartphones. For Panasonic, the advent of smart appliances plus the growing collaboration with partners in other industries will create new opportunities for building new customer experiences and creating customer intimacy. Analysis of data on smart appliance use in the home will reveal valuable insights into consumers' latent needs that can shape a new generation of products and services. Once everything is connected, comfort and convenience will soar. Initiatives are already underway to make this happen.
|No. of employees||285,817 including affiliated companies|
[ Published in 2014 ]