Panasonic is entering the tablet market market not with the proverbial “iPad killer” but with promoting brand extension between its different devices. The new Panasonic tablet that is currently in development and was showcased as a prototype at the CES was billed as a standalone device, but also seamlessly integrated with the G and V series of Panasonic Viera line of televisions.
Panasonic showed off 3 different companion tablet computers, a 10.1 inch, a 7 inch, and and a 4 inch model. They were running on a Google Android 2.1 operating system and the rest of the specs were kept secret because most of the hardware was not finalized and was subject to change.
The essence of these 3 new tablets was to wirelessly connect up to your Panasonic television and via DLNA was able to shoot live video from the tablet to your TV. This was done by only swiping the video to the top of the screen and it disappeared from the tablet and appeared on the television.
The two Panasonic reps that spoke with us, mentioned that this was their effort not to go after a broad tablet market, but to instead offer their existing customer base a few different options for a tablet that integrates with their television line.
Well, Panasonic is set to fill that void with a range of tablet PC’s which they have named VIERA, which also is the brand name shared by the popular range of televisions sets that this Japan based manufacturer. In fact, the new upcoming tablets are not just sharing the name with the TV series but are also likely to be an extension of the TV as well. Maybe it can even be considered the next generation of remote control for TVs, but is offering much more than just allowing one to define how their their televisions should behave.
One of the more interesting facets on these new tablets was a custom SDK for Android that Panasonic is developing and will integrate the applications with the tablets to all work in tandem with the TV’s. For instance, we talked a bit about USB and bluetooth external keyboards, as well as other dongle hardware compatible with 3G, included with the device to enhance the tablets’ usage in the home and create more features. They also mentioned their intention on having a series of applications that were able to be both be loaded on the TV and the tablet.