CES 2016: Panasonic Forges Denver Connection

Las Vegas – Hitting on the overarching Internet of Things theme that’s omnipresent here, Panasonic said it has entered a partnership with the city of Denver, including nearby Denver International Airport, to deploy a connected, “smart” system with integrating monitoring and controls that will span areas such as energy consumption.

Joseph Taylor, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corp. of America, made the announcement here Tuesday during the company’s CES press conference. The agreement, which features an operations hub for Panasonic-run division at the Pena Station NEXT development, is part of bigger Panasonic’s CityNow initiative.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined him on stage to tout the project, calling the Mile High City a hotspot for millennials and Baby Boomers. “People are moving to Denver because it’s  a smart, livable city…I believe we’ll provide smarter and safer streets,” he said. (ever the homer, Hancock also predicted that the Denver Broncos, the No. 1 seed in the AFC will make a “great run during the playoffs”).  

Xcel Energy, a provider in the Western U.S., is also involved and will build a microgrid (with help from Panasonic and DIA) that will demo the use of Solar Photo Voltaic and Lithium Ion storage batteries working together.

Panasonic also introduced ÔRA, an “adaptive” smart home platform designed to work with connected products from a wide range of suppliers and underlying operating systems. The CE giant is teaming up with Xcel Energy to test ÔRA’s energy efficiency-facing capabilities.

Panasonic also announced that Honeywell products will be integrated with its do-it-yourself offering that originally worked with Panasonic’s own line of cameras, sensors and thermostats.

Others, including Apple and Google are planting their software flags in the smart home market. Among MVPDs, Comcast has developed a home-grown system for Xfinity Home that works with the MSO’s own products as well as certified products from outside parties. AT&T, meanwhile, has integrated its Digital Life platform to work with certain set-tops from recently acquired DirecTV.