Panasonic pushes buttons with smart home prototypes at SXSW

Panasonic’s home-fermenting machine, DIY dry-cleaner, and ambient media player are just concepts for now, but the company is using SXSW to figure out which one to make first.

Panasonic isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of visionary tech that pushes the envelope. I picture an old TV my family once owned that eventually made way for a newer model from a different brand. But the company’s Game Changer Catapult division took over a bar at South by Southwest and rebranded it as Panasonic House to test some new ideas in unexpected ways.

The company showed off a DIY dry-cleaning machine called MonStyle, an Ambient Media Player for turning a TV display into a work of art, and a home-fermenting machine that’s equal parts Blue Apron and slow cooker for kimchi fans.

Panasonic House was a showcase for protytpes—none of the devices on display has a price or planned release date. The company is using South by Southwest to gauge public reaction to these products. Panasonic was even tallying votes to see which gadget people want to see first. (The results have yet to be announced.)

Panasonic has a long way to go to become a smart home heavyweight in the States, but there were some intriguing ideas. Watch the video to see.

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Caitlin McGarry

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