Parsons School of Design and Panasonic Team Up to Create Wearable Technology Pieces and Experiences That Address Wellness Needs

8 Mar 2017
gadget time

NEW YORK/OSAKA, March 8, 2017 – The New School’s Parsons School of Design and Panasonic Corporation will debut wearable technology pieces and experiences that address wellness needs at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas.

The prototypes – jointly created by students at the leading art and design school and Game Changer Catapult, Panasonic’s innovation acceleration team – can be tested out by SXSW attendees at Panasonic House @ SXSW March 11-13.

Working together at Parsons, members of Game Changer Catapult – business leaders, engineers and a UX designer – and students from Parsons’ MFA Industrial Design, MFA Design and Technology, and BBA Strategic Design and Management programs have designed garments and services focusing on enhancing sleep and social interaction.

The projects reflect Parsons’ and Panasonic’s shared commitment to addressing human needs through design, innovation, and collaboration. The projects are:

• Göbie, a bracelet designed to improve social wellness via play. Using haptic feedback, gesture recognition, and a visual LED language, Göbie encourages users to interact outside of a screen interface. Its connected app recognizes when other Göbie users are near and prompts a spontaneous play experience that fosters a sense of community no matter the location.
• SLEEPWISE is a compact wearable device that helps users create a personally designed environment, at home or on the road, to get a better night’s sleep. Its sensing device and app controls the user’s smart home and IoT devices to create the conditions for his or her preferred environment.
“As embedded technology becomes more prevalent, Parsons is training young designers to use it for social good, ” said Parsons Design Lab director Anu Malhotra, who is overseeing the project. “Collaborating across disciplines – in this case, breaking down the boundaries between designers and technologists – and working with a leading technology company such as Panasonic is great way of furthering this approach.”

“The debut of these products and experiences at SXSW will be the first step toward getting them to market and into the hands of consumers, who can use them to transform the way they manage wellness,” said Akimoto Nobuhiro, who leads wellness support innovation initiatives for Panasonic. “Working with Parsons, the leading art and design school, amplifies our ongoing efforts to foster a collaborative culture and accelerate innovation.”


Panasonic House @ SXSW, Parkside, 301 E 6th St. Saturday through Monday, March 11-13, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. and Tuesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Parsons School of Design, founded in 1896, is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.”

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise solutions and device industries. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates 474 subsidiaries and 94 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.553 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2016. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers.

Game Changer Catapult is an initiative of Panasonic Corporation Appliances Company to accelerate efforts in developing new businesses that focus on home electronics and for training personnel who can lead the way in this field. In recent years, new and innovative products and services have drawn the attention of consumers. Amid this environment, Panasonic has promoted open innovation, which encourages external collaboration and co-creation and internally, bottom-up discovery, development, and strengthening of new business ideas.

As part of this initiative, in May 2016, Panasonic established for the first time a system that encourages employees to submit new business ideas. Under the theme, “Game Changer Catapult,” which promotes a shift towards unconventional businesses, many innovative business ideas were submitted and finalists were selected on July 21, 2016. In the future, Panasonic will dedicate its resources and know-how to these new business ideas to get them rolling quickly. Moreover, by introducing these new ideas to the market at exhibitions, etc., during their early stages, Panasonic will reflect market feedback to its businesses and products.

As competition in the home electronics market intensifies, Panasonic will accelerate innovation through its “Game Changer Catapult” initiative to help realize “A Better Life, A Better World.”

For more information, follow Game Changer Catapult on Facebook @gccatapult, on Twitter @gccatapult, and on Instagram @gamechangercatapult.

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