photo: Research measuring the kinds of strain put on the body when going over an obstacle

Research for developing UD products

At Panasonic Group, results of research findings are used to improve the usability of our products.

Cataract Simulation Goggles Research on 'ease of seeing'

Cataracts are a condition that can make a person’s eyesight blurry or make everything seem yellowish. It is said that roughly 70% of people aged 60 and older contract this condition. To find out how things appear to elderly people with cataracts, Panasonic partnered with ophthalmologists on joint research to develop goggles that simulate the experience of cataracts. Using this tool, Panasonic tested and improved its product displays, catalogs, packaging, user’s manuals and other materials, making them more legible to people with cataracts. In 2000 the changes were adopted as an in-house standard.

UD pictogram Research on 'function display'

How does each product serve the needs of the elderly, the disabled, caregivers and assistants by providing the gentleness and ease of use they need? To inform consumers of these qualities through simple visual cues, Panasonic proposed the UD pictogram. In 2001 the pictogram was adopted as an in-house standard. To respond to globalization and technological advances, in 2016 other pictograms were added. Surveys were conducted in seven countries: Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the United States. Based on the results of those surveys, Panasonic refined the pictograms to make them more intuitive.

Voice Guidance Standards Research on 'ease of hearing'
 

Voice guidance is an effective method of conveying information to the widest possible range of people. To deliver voice guidance that is easy both to hear and understand, Panasonic is conducting research on acoustic quality, volume, speaking speed, content, expressions, sentence length and other factors, and is developing indicators for each. Since 2003, Panasonic has adopted these features as in-house standards.

Panasonic Universal Design Font Development (from 2006) Research on 'ease of reading'

For optimal legibility of letters, we not only researched size and contrast of the letters, but the fonts themselves. Through global research, validation by senior users, and expert interviews, we identified four elements that constitute a good font: visibility, recognizability, legibility, and good design. We collaborated with a type foundry, Iwata Co., Ltd., and developed the world's first Universal Design font in 2006. This font is used for all operation panels on Panasonic products.
In 2008, the font was used as the brand logo for Panasonic Group.

Color Universal Design (from 2007) Research on 'ease of distinguishing between color schemes'

In a collaboration with non-profit organization, CUDO (Color Universal Design Organization), we analyzed colors that can easily be distingueished by those with difficulties differentiating between red and green hues. The results are used on VIERA and DIGA’s remote control color buttons and on program guides. We acquired the CUDO’s Color Universal Design Certification, which is only given to products that have met their standards.
Color Universal Design was implemented in 2007.

Tactile Symbol Decals Research on 'ease of use for those with sight problems'

The IH Cooktop electrostatic touch buttons are smooth and easy to clean, but they are hard to distinguish for visually challenged users. In order to ensure safety, we collaborated with Japan Lighthouse to develop tactile decals with embossed symbols which are easier to understand and more durable.

Reserch on Motion, Burden, and Mobility Scientifically evaluate the 'ease of use'

Panasonic is continuing to develop products that visualize and quantify the vague sensation that is “user friendly”, using various scientific analysis such as the load on muscles and changes in the center of gravity.
Recently, we have been using digital human simulation to visualize the physical load of an item.

Safety Consideration Research to prevent accidents before they happen

Children’s fingers often get caught in doors and hinges often. By developing finger-like equipment with sensors, we were able to test, validate, and develop preventive measures into various products.