Partnering with Denver, Colorado, Panasonic introduced the first smart city concept at last year’s CES presentation. Side-by-side with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Panasonic boasted how smart city integration could help everything from energy efficiency to combat traffic and more.

Mayor Hancock told us last year he’d be back in 2017 to update everyone on the progress with Panasonic.

Let’s look at what Panasonic presented, what we can expect from the show floor and more from their CES press conference.

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A Recap of the Panasonic Press Conference at CES 2017

Lauren Sallata, Vice President, B2B Marketing, Panasonic Corporation of America, kicked the press conference off with a touching look back on Panasonic’s Founder, Kōnosuke Matsushita, vision for the future of the company and the world.

This highlighted how Panasonic has always been an innovation leader, something many don’t realize until they dig deeper into where the company’s products are found.

Next, Joseph Taylor, Chairman, and CEO, Panasonic Corporation of America, came out and introduced Panasonic’s bendable li-ion battery. When Taylor bent it, you knew you were looking at something new, different, and could be a game-changing depending on how it’s applied in consumer electronics big and small.

Updates on Denver’s Smart City Initiative

As promised, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was welcomed to the stage. Mayor Hancock updated us on the progress of smart city concepts in Denver, including its integration in parking, solar energy, and developments along RTD’s light rail stations on the new University of Colorado A Line.

Road X Project

Road X project

One of the discussion points between Mayor Hancock and Taylor was how the project started out going down one road but as Panasonic and the City of Denver looked at how to deploy; they found additional issues to tackle which they’re not addressing. One of those issues is traffic in and around Denver, and Colorado as a whole.

As Mayor Hancock explained, when Denver and the surrounding areas were built out, they didn’t think the city would grow as big – or as fast, – as it has. Traffic has become a growing concern for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT.)

Panasonic and CDOT will work together on the Road-X project. This project will create a vehicle platform from Denver through I-70 to the heart of Colorado ski country. This is an area of highway that can’t be expanded because of the way it’s built through the Rocky Mountains and Continental Divide.

The Road X project is looking to connect travel, improve safety, and makes things more efficient for both the state and those traveling through it.

The Digital Divide

After updates on the smart city initiatives in Denver, Yasuji Enokido, President, Panasonic AVC Networks Company, Senior Managing Director and Member of the Board, Panasonic Corporation was introduced.

Enokido touched on “the digital divide” for electronics companies trying to connect with consumers with the end user in mind, something Panasonic prides itself on.

Partnership with Disney World

Enokido announced Panasonic’s partnership to bring its technologies and bridge that divide with a strategic alliance with Disney. Mickey Mouse, along with Carlos Castro, Vice President, Disney Corporate Alliances, came on stage to discuss the partnership in more detail.

This partnership will make Panasonic the official projection partner of Disney theme parks to help improve customer service and relations.

Automotive

Tom Gebhardt, President, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, came out next to go over Panasonic’s vision for automobiles. This included partnering with Qualcomm to integrate technologies, as well introducing the Skip Generation IVI a fully-interactive platform for smart cars, including the Chrysler Portal announced at CES this year.

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CIO (Countertop Induction Oven)

The Countertop Induction Oven, or CIO, is a countertop oven that offers direct induction heating while cooking one-pan meals. Pre-set menus and modes give consumers the opportunity to bake, grill, and broil from the device. Most meals can be made in under 30 minutes and it’s been designed to fit on most countertops, even in small apartments.

Conclusion

Panasonic touched on its relaunching of the Technics audio brand, along with introducing the latest generation of Lumix cameras. Overall, Panasonic’s press conference was focused on highlighting just what a global and innovative brand Panasonic has been all along, even when the world has forgotten about it.

It’s smart city initiatives with Denver may prove to be where the future of the company lies as the world around us becomes more integrated within the internet of things.

Learn more about Panasonic at CES here.