Panasonic to show powerline network prototypes at CES

Panasonic a prototype HD-PLC device for remotely monitoring an electric car while it is charging at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas.

Panasonic plans to unveil a networking system that can connect an electric car to home devices via electrical wiring at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The electric car networking prototype allows people and devices inside the home to check on an electric vehicle while it is being recharged. It will be one of several research developments on show at the HD-PLC Alliance stand in the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall, Panasonic said Friday. Other prototypes will include an HD-PLC adapter for a security camera and an electrical monitoring system.

HD-PLC (High-Definition Powerline Communications) is a Panasonic-developed technology that utilizes the electricity cabling already present inside a home or building to send and receive data. It's competing in the market with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and Universal Powerline Association to become the dominant standard for data connections over such cabling. All three systems have the advantage of not requiring dedicated Ethernet cabling, but all three are largely incompatible.

The technology made its first appearance at CES in 2004 when the company unveiled it as a prototype system during a keynote speech. At the time it had been proposed to the HomePlug Powerline Alliance to become their standard. A rival system was later chosen and Panasonic decided to continue development on its own.

An HD-PLC Alliance has since been formed but membership is limited. In addition to several Panasonic group companies, the main members include just three other companies: peripherals vendor IO Data and networking companies Icron and ACN Advanced Communications Networks.

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Martyn Williams

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