Panasonic recently signed up to a partnership with the Denver city authorities to develop the infrastructure needed to turn the Mile High City into a smart city.
Among many headline-making corporate announcements at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month, Panasonic Corporation of North America – the main North American subsidiary of Japanese electronics giant Panasonic – revealed that it was partnering with Denver to turn the Colorado state capital into a smart city. Part of the plan is to transform the Denver airport area into a technology hub at the cutting edge of energy efficiency, water conservation, mass transit systems, public safety and healthcare.
Under its CityNow project, Panasonic will provide state-of-the-art technology infrastructure including, for example, a solar power collection system plus battery storage capability, a smart street lighting system and real-time road traffic data analysis facilities.
Press conference given by Joseph Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America at CES 2016 (the partnership is announced in the 6th minute)
Panasonic’s vision for the smart city includes a strong emphasis on fostering smart mobility, and much more besides. The company also intends to promote the use of smart home technology in the residential areas close to Denver airport and also enable residents to use tele-health and biometric identification technologies. “Real-time information will work to enhance Denver services while creating more equity, freedom and access to choices that will allow our community as a whole to live better, easier lives,” declared Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock in a press release.
Panasonic already announced back in 2014 that it had chosen a site close to Denver International Airport to build the company’s new technology centre and business solutions hub, housing inter alia its Eco Solutions business line, which installs large-scale solar systems for corporate and municipal clients. This latest extension of the project to include a closer partnership with the local authority provides a clear indication of the strategic directions in which Panasonic seems set to go forward: moving on the one hand into the domain of the smart city – further evidence that connected ecosystems are now converging; and on the other hand collaborating with the public sector and developing B2B solutions, a step away from its original consumer electronics businesses. So could the line between B2C and B2B in the tech sphere be gradually fading?