While the Energizer Bunny may get all the fame, Panasonic's "Mr. Evolta" robot actually gets out and does
things. In 2008, powered by two of the company's AA EVOLTA alkaline batteries, the 17 centimeter (6.69 inch)-tall robot climbed up a 1,640 foot (500 meter) rope suspended in the Grand Canyon
. The following year, pedaling a miniature tricycle, he completed the "24 Hours of Le Mans"
endurance challenge. Last year, he took a leisurely 500-kilometer (311-mile) stroll along the highway from Tokyo to Kyoto. This year's challenge is a little different - there will be three
EVOLTA robots, and they will be teaming up to complete the 230-kilometer (143-mile) Ironman Triathlon circuit in Hawaii.
Panasonic continues to expand its super-zoom LUMIX FZ-Series with the LUMIX DMC-FZ150 appearing hot on the heels of the DMC-FZ47
. Taking the title of the flagship of the FZ series, the FZ150 packs a 24x optical zoom (25-600mm equivalent) along with a 25mm ultra wide-angle Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. The camera also features a new 3D photo mode that automatically selects the two most suitable images from 20 panning shots to synthesize a 3D composite image.
Panasonic has added another superzoom to its FZ-series camera range. The LUMIX DMC-FZ47 features a 25 - 600 mm equivalent zoom lens with a special coating that's claimed to reduce ghost and flare, and a brand new sensor capable of recording 1080/60i high definition video. It also features a host of creative photography options, including those seen in the company's DMC-G3
camera announced in May.
Panasonic will introduce a ruggedized Toughbook tablet running Android OS in Q4 2011. Aimed at enterprise users, the Android Toughbook tablet will offer a sunlight-friendly matte screen, a 10.1'' XGA (1024 x 768) multi-touch display, "full-shift" battery life, GPS connectivity and an optional 3G/4G embedded modem.
Panasonic has added to its ever growing – yet ever shrinking – stable of Lumix Micro Four Thirds cameras with what it claims is the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with a built-in flash. The new DMC-GF3 is 16.7 percent smaller and 16.2 percent lighter than its predecessor, the DMC-GF2
, which was itself 19 percent smaller and seven percent lighter than the preceding DMC-GF1. The GF3’s size and weight reductions are largely thanks to the elimination of an optical viewfinder and mirror-box, which also means there’s no electronic viewfinder.
Panasonic has announced the latest addition to its LUMIX G series of not-quite-compact cameras – the LUMIX DMC-G3. Smaller than a DSLR and larger than a pocket point-and-shoot, the G3 offers an interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lens mount, a 16 megapixel sensor, full HD video, and a rotating LCD touch screen.
When a new technology comes on the scene it often sparks a format war. It's logical that the big players will push their proprietary technology as the market standard so they can recoup some of the money they've spent on R & D. It happened with Beta and VHS, HD-DVD and Blu-ray
and more recently with active-shutter
glasses for 3D TVs
. Now Panasonic
has teamed up with XPAND, the company behind a line of Universal 3D glasses
, to create a new "universal standard" for 3D active-shutter glasses called M-3DI. But although there are a few companies on board, a number of big players are yet to sign up.
NASCAR fans are in for a high-definition treat this year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, where construction of a gargantuan 200-foot-wide x 80-foot-tall screen is underway. Billed as the world's largest HD video board, the structure will weigh 332.5 tons (665,000 pounds) and contain more than 9 million LED lamps when the switch is flicked for racing events in May.
While the portable form factor of tablet
computers makes them ideal for use on the go, as many tablet users have no doubt discovered, they’re also great for doing a spot of web surfing or catching up on friends’ Facebook or Twitter posts while in front of the TV. At CES 2011 Panasonic
has announced its entry into the tablet computing space with the VIERA tablet – a device it calls a “tablet-type terminal” specifically designed for just that purpose.
It's getting a little late for a last minute Christmas shopping list, but not to worry, most of us outside the Forbes Top 100 couldn't afford any of these anyway! Still, it's fascinating to look at what's possible if the word "budget" isn't in your vocabulary, so here's our annual look
at what you won't be getting for Christmas this year – the most outrageous examples of high-end overkill that have graced Gizmag's pages throughout 2010.