While major Japan-based household appliance suppliers, including Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Denki, have already made the controls and operations of their smart household appliance systems through smartphones as standards, sales of smart household appliances compatible with home energy management system (HEMS) are expected to increase significantly amid rising awareness of energy saving and to become an emerging trend of Japan's smart household appliance industry, according to Digitimes Research.
Toshiba began to sell its HEMS-centric smart household appliances in October 2013, which can perform a number of advanced concierge services such as remote-control, remote-confirmation, malfunction diagnosis, usage recommendation, energy-saving proposals and notification of operation. The launch of the Internet-connected, cloud-service accessible Feminity series of home appliances further enhance Toshiba's smart home appliance services, which can be controlled using PC systems, TVs, and tablets in addition to smartphones.
Sharp has regarded the development of sweeping robots as the first step to realizing next-generation smart home appliance solutions. Its Cocorobo-series RX-V200 robot, launched in November 2013, can serve as a home appliance hub that can control and operate a number of household appliances through infrared. The RX-V200 can also apply to cloud services, to enhance the degree of communications with human beings. Sharp has been emphasizing the connection and communications of its smart household appliances and will incorporate such smart functions to all of its home appliances.
Panasonic has been focusing connection between smartphones and smart household appliances and has launched more than 10 related products, offering a number of value-added services through FeliCa and NFC technologies. However, along with the rising concern of energy saving, Panasonic has also begun to step into HEMS compatible products.
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