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Monday, January 7, 2013

Panasonic\'s TVs Can Recognize a Face

Panasonic's new product introductions at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas touch on what is becoming a common theme -â€"making your TV do the work of finding shows you want to watch.

The company announced a feature called “My Home Screen” that will show a viewer customized suggestions of TV shows, streaming shows and Internet content, all on one screen. The idea is to put all of the content in one place so a viewer does not have to search separately for TV shows and video on demand, for instance. Each family member can have a personalized screen, and will not have to sign in - the higher-end Panasonic TVs will have a built-in camera that will use face recognition to determine whose preferences to display.

Panasonic is not the only company taking this approach. Samsung is introducing a similar home page that also incorporates social networks.

The Panasonics will also have a simplified way of sharing content from mobile phones and tablets, whi ch can be sent to the screen with a swipe. On the TV screen the images can be edited with a special pen, so you could touch up the colors and write a message, then save the changes on the mobile device the images came from.

The TVs are getting other computerlike features as well, including apps that will allow people to search and make purchases from the Home Shopping Network from the TV, and closer integration of YouTube.

Also on the way is a voice recognition program that will let you speak commands into your remote rather than tapping buttons.

In all, Panasonic will introduce 32 TVs, including 16 plasma and 16 LCD models.

In addition to new Blu-ray players, kitchen appliances, cameras, headphones, and phone and tablet audio docks, Panasonic will introduce two streaming video players, which will work much like a Roku, but use Panasonic-style menus and features.