JAPANESE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS FIRM Panasonic gave a somewhat underwhelming presentation at CES, rolling out special guests including Justin Timberlake as it announced that it has partnered with Myspace.
Joseph Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America kicked off the presentation by reiterating that Panasonic is moving away from traditional consumer electronics and is "more than a TV company".
Panasonic is focusing on energy management and entertainment systems, and it wants to be "the leader in eco-friendly technology products", said Taylor.
Taylor referred to the company's Fujisawa sustainable smart town that is being created and is soon to be populated by thousands of people who will operate "off the grid".
Various Panasonic executives took the stage and made passing mentions about upcoming products such as LCD and Plasma TV ranges. The LCD TVs will be the WT and DT series and the 2012 Plasma TV range will include the GT, VT, and ST series.
Merwan Mereby, Panasonic's VP for interactive content and services said that close to 90 per cent of the firm's 2012 devices will be web-connected and certain TVs will also support split-screen Skype.
Interestingly, Panasonic promoted its upcoming Toughpad tablet, which is aimed at business users who need a rugged device. It also announced a basic Skype tablet with a webcam suitable for home use.
After inviting a number of guests including Michael Lang, CEO of Miramax, Gary Zenkel from NBC and female football player Brandi Chastain, Panasonic brought out Justin Timberlake, the co-owner of Myspace for the big finish.
Panasonic has signed a deal with Myspace that will allow users to interact with friends while watching TV and even sharing videos.
Timberlake said that the TV was the originator of watercooler talk before the internet. He claimed that the partnership with Panasonic will emable people to take that social interaction into real time.
He asked, "Why text or email your friends to talk about your favourite programmes after they've aired when you could be sharing the experience with realtime interactivity from anywhere across the globe?"
"We're giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they are actually happening. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television and now we no longer have to crowd the same one to experience it together." µ