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Panasonic opens smart town targeting zero-emission houses

Tim Hornyak | Nov. 28, 2014
As utopias go, Panasonic's new smart town works if you're keen to be green and don't mind a heavy corporate presence.

In a "Truman Show"-style twist, the inhabitants can also watch real-time views from the town's network of nearly 50 security cameras, all monitored by staff in the Fujisawa SST management office. Roving guards called "security concierges" also keep an eye on things.

Meanwhile, a mobile app called Soy Link that was created for the town allows locals to swap information about shopping, crime prevention, social gatherings and sharing assets like kiddie pools.

Panasonic, which leads a consortium of 18 companies backing the town, wants the houses to eventually have zero CO2 emissions. At the opening ceremony, hopeful executives remarked on the auspiciousness of the sunny skies and a snow-clad Mt. Fuji clearly visible in the distance. They noted that Thursday marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita, a revered figure in the company.

"This town is going to exist for 100 years as a sustainable town," Masahiro Ido, director of Panasonic's Business Solution Division, told attendees.

 

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