|Date:||1/2/97 Record No.: 10419|
Here is a story found on the web a few days ago. We've heard of magic carpets and electric blankets (and electric vehicles), but the idea of an electric carpet caught me completely by surprise--have you ever heard of it? It would seem they are a common item in Japan. Wonder if/when they'll show up in this country.
ANALYSIS/Efficient electric carpets win popularity
Product Spotlight: Nikkei Marketing Journal, Dec. 26, 1996
Electric carpets have become one of the more popular alternatives for heating rooms. Makers specializing in this product are doing well, and other consumer electronics makers making efforts to develop high value-added electric carpets.
Sharp Corp.'s HJ-G20A-C, at a suggested retail price of 35,000 yen, is a popular example. The carpet requires only half the power of conventional models, and it is treated with an anti-slip coating. It comes with a beige gabardine cover. Sharp is now looking to develop even more energy-efficient models.
Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. has won over consumers with four models: the smaller DR241-A and DR241-C, both priced at 33,200 yen, and the DR341-A and DR341-C, both priced at 44,300 yen. These carpets also receive anti-slip treatments and consume only about half as much electricity as earlier models. Their insulation cushions offer improved comfort and heat-transfer capability. Matsushita developed a gabardine cover (in blue or beige) with a cashmere-like feel that has proven very popular. The firm plans to develop other, larger carpets with similar features.
Toshiba Home Technology Corp. employs a two-layer insulating material on the bottom of the heating element of its offerings. The carpets reduce heat loss through the floor by about 30%, lowering power consumption by about 25%. The company offers one mode in which it uses only about one-fourth the electricity of conventional electric carpets. Toshiba's CK-20FS (C) and CK-20FS (CT) are both popular. They have a mainly beige natural coloring with a cubic design pattern. The anti-slip carpet is made from polyester, but with a feel like cotton. Toshiba has sold more than it expected. "Our carpet's comfort and energy-saving functions have matched consumer demands," claimed one company official. Toshiba expects sales of the carpets this winter to increase 5% year-on-year.