Panasonic wowed folks at CES this year with their out-of-the-box thinking and futuristic concepts for the kitchen. Now, it looks like they might have more in store for SXSW.
That’s because the Japanese consumer electronics conglomerate will be debuting a new kitchen concept designed for seniors at the interactive portion of this year’s big tech, culture and entertainment festival in Austin.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the concept will be focused on providing meals for people who have difficulty chewing and swallowing due to illness or age-related maladies. Panasonic will leverage its expertise in pressure cookers and other cooking equipment to provide “softer and easier to eat foods with the same look and taste.”
The company developed the product specifically for Japan, the country with world’s oldest population where over a quarter of the people are aged 65 or older. However, since the US is facing an aging problem of its own with baby boomers, there’s a good chance this concept will be of interest to many here as well.
One thing for sure: advances in cooking and smart home technology are needed for an aging-in-place market that will see significantly more stress in developed economies in coming years. The capacity for elder care in the US and other advanced countries isn’t sufficient to handle the aging post-WW2 population, which means that embracing new technologies to extend living within our own homes will be increasingly important. By focusing specifically on eating and food for older populations, Panasonic has created a future kitchen concept provides fresh thinking for an important issue that has been lacking in innovation.
The Spoon will be at SXSW and will have more on Panasonic’s new offering in a few weeks. In the meanwhile, check out a video of their concept kitchen that was on display at CES last January.
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