From the March/April/May/June 1980 American Go Journal:
PANASONIC INTRODUCES ELECTRONIC GO GAME
Recently, Panasonic Corporation has produced two protoype models of a “Telephone Electronic Go Game.” Three Panasonic engineers brought the devices to the U.S. for the Consumer Electronics Show this June in Chicago. They were referred to Terry Benson, AGA President, by Yas Nankawa and Masao Takabe to set up a series of meetings with North American organizers and players to advise on the final design of the devices. The places visited were New York (T. Benson, Glenn Jackson), Washington D.C. (John Goon), Toronto (John Williams, Pat Thompson), San Francisco (Paul Goodman, Shinju Dote). The Panasonic contacts in the U.S. are Robert Cornell and Dale Ishii.
The prototypes are well crafted wood veneer, traditional Go boards. Small LED arrows around the perimeter of the board act as intersection indicators. Using magnetic stones, the device has the capacity to recognize, record and transmit the intersections played. Connection through a modem allows play - over the phone lines - against another players (similarly equipped) at great distance and very little loss of time.
The device can also be used to play over professional games, lessons, or one’s own games. Electronic logic and a voice synthesizer prompt the play of the stones.
Everyone who saw it thought it had good potential although price would be critical in defining its market. All are anxious to see the production line models available in a year or 2.