If you have hearing or vision problems, then Panasonic wants to make sure you’re not excluded from enjoying its smart TV services. And it wants to personalise the whole experience of smart TV to each user.
The technologies for accessibility are nothing new, although their inclusion in a TV is quite a recent development. First up, the high-end TVs in Panasonic’s range this year are all capable of reading web pages out to you, if you can’t see them on screen.
The company is also introducing a nice new piece of headphone technology. Bone conduction, as it’s called, is also not new, but Panasonic is including it with a set of Bluetooth headphones that you can pair with its new TVs. Rather than going in your ear, bone conduction headphones are sort of bolted to your head, so you can still hear what’s happening in the room, and that means you can still enjoy the social aspects of watching EastEnders.
Panasonic is adding a new feature to some of its high-end TVs. Called My Home Screen, it brings together all of your online content into one place. The idea here is that each member of the family can arrange their favourite “smart” TV apps and services on their page, and log in to the TV when they sit down, so they can access all their favourites. But it’s even more clever than that, because on some TVs, a camera is able to identify who is watching, and switch to their profile. We don’t know what happens if more than one person is in the room at the time, but we’ll try to find out when we see the TVs up close.