Panasonic has dabbled in the smart home market quite extensively – with products typically aimed at the consumer market. Its latest product unveiled at CEATEC 2016 is one that could theoretically be used by pros and consumers alike – and it’s a convenient wireless switch that forgoes the need for batteries.

The premise of the wireless, batteryless switch is that users will be able to activate smart home scenes and devices simply by pressing the switch. Under plans revealed by Panasonic, users won’t even need to click the switch to activate it, with the company eyeing up the possibility of integrating the switch into chairs – so users will only need to sit on a chair to activate a smart home scene.

In the demo at CEATEC, Panasonic showcased how users could activate an ‘office’ scene by sitting at a desk. This office scene would switch on the light, the fan, the computer and even jump straight into office-based programs, like Excel. Another switch located at the desk can then switch from the automatic office mode straight into ‘entertainment’ mode, which can change what’s on screen to a YouTube video and turn on some music.

Panasonic’s solution is so simple due to the fact that it forgoes batteries. It does this by including a power generator inside the device itself, which can translate motion into electricity. It’s similar in functionality to Philips’ Hue Tap, which uses kinetic energy to control Hue’s smart lighting.

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