Leveraging the IoT to Gain a Competitive Edge in International Competition
Many large manufacturers in and outside Japan are competing for larger market share in the same space, expecting a growing demand for projectors in the areas of entertainment, which requires glamor and strong visual performance as well as digital signage that can attract people’s attention. “It is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate ourselves with stand-alone hardware products,” says Kazuyuki Kitagawa, Director of Service & Support at Panasonic AVC Networks. “In order for Panasonic to grow market share and overall business, it is essential for us to develop solutions that deliver significant added value.” Panasonic believes projection failure and quality deterioration should never happen. This is what and has driven them to make their projectors IoT-enabled. More specifically, Panasonic has developed a system that collects data from projectors, visualizes detailed operational statuses, and predicts issues and address them before failure occurs. Their projectors are embedded with a variety of sensors that measure power supply, voltage, video input/ output signals, intake/exhaust air temperatures, cooling fan operations, and light bulb operating time. These sensors have been used to make the projector more intelligent, automatically suspending operation when the temperature rises excessively, and automatically switching light bulbs. Although this was a great first step, Panasonic projectors were still not equipped with any capability to send the data over a network.