Panasonic Launches New Smart Home Platform in India Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
Panasonic debuted a new AI and Internet of Things platform this week in India. Miraie, which combines the Japanese words for future and home, aims to connect Panasonic smart devices, but with voice control through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Smart Home Platform with Voice Assistant Choice
Panasonic developed Miraie, its India Innovation Centre in Bangalore. The company revealed Miraie at the same time as it announced the first Panasonic smart home devices to be available in India, including smart plugs, doorbells, and air conditioners. These are just the first wave of smart devices. Panasonic plans to bring to the country. Miraie connects all of those devices and applies the AI to analyze data from them. Panasonic said Miraie can automatically adjust devices for when people are sleeping or out of the home, spot potential problems with a device before they become an issue, and suggest ways to extend the lifespan of a device.
While users can control Miraie-connected devices by voice, there isn’t a proprietary voice assistant. Instead, Panasonic offers users the choice of Alexa or Google Assistant to communicate with smart devices. The agnostic voice assistant choice fits with Panasonic’s previous work in AI when it partnered with both Amazon and Google to bring both of their voice assistants to Panasonic’s auto infotainment systems.
Indian Smart Home Rush
Panasonic is joining a recent rush of smart home platforms in India. Apple announced that it will start selling its HomePod smart speaker last month, adding support for English and Hindi hybrid Hinglish to Siri at the same time. Amazon and Google have both been selling voice assistant hubs in India for some time. Both been expanding their presence of late. Amazon just started selling the Echo Show 8 in India after adding support for Hindi and Hinglish to Alexa in September. Amazon also debuted its new portable smart speaker, the Echo Input, exclusively in India in December.
Google, meanwhile, partnered with Vodaphone to set up a free, dedicated phone line for people to call Google Assistant from any phone. About three-fifths of smart speakers in India are made by Amazon, with Google making all but 2% of the rest in the country, according to a report last year from IDC. Google Assistant does have a significant lead in Hindi voice apps, however. There are nearly ten times as many Google Actions in Hindi compared to Alexa Skills. All of the data points to the Indian market being very ripe for smart device competition that can encompass both Alexa and Google Assistant, which is right where Panasonic wants to place itself.
“With the advent of 5G, IoT will be driving the next round of transformation in the digital world and is the future of smart, connected India,” said Panasonic India and South East Asia CEO Manish Sharma during the unveiling. “Consumers are now looking towards IoT & AI enabled solutions to enhance quality of life through connected ecosystems – as per our research over 75% are looking for comfort & convenience with specific requirements related to ease of use; safety; monitoring misuse; service reminders. Through the launch of our Miraie platform, we aim to address all of the above and extend connected living in a true sense and further our vision of a better life, a better world.”