Panasonic exploring artificial intelligence companies for mobile technology

By : |July 5, 2016 0

Panasonic India is exploring options for acquiring companies in the next 6-9 months to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning technologies, which it wants to integrate with its future smartphones to differentiate from rival vendors in the crowded yet fast growing market.

The company has already set aside an initial corpus of $10 million for the development of this technology through a merger and acquisition or a joint venture.

“The budget is in a tune of $10 million to start with, and as we see progress on this front and things go in right direction, then there will be no constraint on the budget part. We can spend as high as possible. Some part of this budget has been generated from the India business, while some portion has been allocated from Japan,” Pankaj Rana, head of mobility division, India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa at Panasonic, said speaking to ET.

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“Our team would be traveling to Silicon Valley soon. We will have new products ready with AI in 9-12 months. In the last three months, we have finalized what we will do and budgets have been allocated from Panasonic Japan and Panasonic India,” he added.

The handset vendor is now on a lookout for a partner to start working on a timeline. “Panasonic is currently finalizing its concept of AI and will call it Panasonic AI assistant. It is planning to bring its first smartphone embedded with the AI within this year. In the mobile phones, we are still a 2-year-old company. And, people don’t connect with us as a mobile phone company. We don’t want to say that we are a primarily mobile phone company.

We want to be called a technology company in near future. AI is the future of Panasonic. We want to integrate all future technologies based on AI,” Rana said, adding that the technology will help it garner larger market share in India.

Besides AI technology, Panasonic is also looking into the Internet of Things segment by launching products in the home automation and personal healthcare space. Home automation that includes control of appliances, security and surveillance and lighting would be the initial focus.

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