Panasonic to bring smart technology to city, museum


Cutting-edge technology is coming to the U.S. Olympic Museum and the city of Colorado Springs, thanks to a collaboration with Panasonic Corporation of North America and Colorado Springs Utilities.

The collaboration will help create strategic technology for both the city and museum, while providing an immersive entertainment experience in a sustainable “smart city” environment.

A smart city is one that uses data from electronic data collection sensors — along with machine learning and predictive analytics — to make their communities safer, more responsive and more efficient.

Panasonic is one of the founding partners of “The Olympic Partner” program, and Colorado Springs is marketed as “Olympic City USA,” so the alignment makes sense.

“This is really the future for cities, to have the ability to have everything communicate with each other,” said Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman. “Panasonic has a great track record with smart city infrastructure. They’re one of the world leaders in immersive entertainment and smart city technology, and they chose us for this demonstration project, which will showcase the Springs and the Olympic Museum.”

The Olympic Museum selected Panasonic to assess its plans for the state-of-the-art facility now under construction in the southwest downtown area of Colorado Springs, and provide a design strategy to implement the most advanced and impactful technology solutions that will create a transformational visitor experience.

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“This will make the museum a more exciting and interesting experience,” Skorman said. “A lot of exhibitions will be done with this kind of technology to give the visitor a more real experience. The museum really wants to let people experience what the Olympics are about, and this technology will help with that.”

In addition to recommendations for immersive engagement through audio, video, interactive mobile and virtual solutions, the museum is turning to Panasonic for guidance in content delivery, data management, security platforms and overarching sustainability for a comprehensive technology solutions strategy.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers recently convened a joint task force that aligned city council, Utilities and Panasonic CityNOW on a “SmartCOS Implementation Strategy,” to deploy new technologies that will improve service delivery to the community and drive economic development, focusing specifically on projects in energy, mobility, city services and smart buildings.

“We look forward to working with Panasonic in a collaborative process that leads to ways to make Colorado Springs more appealing for residents and tourists alike,” Suthers said in a city press release. “The technological solutions include items such as LED streetlights that can detect snow levels, building efficiency technologies, and advanced security technologies to improve public safety. We see this as a cost-effective way to complement many essential services we provide to our residents.”

Panasonic has installed its smart city technology as a test bed for the city of Denver at Pena Station, the second-to-last stop on its light rail system that goes to Denver International Airport.

“[Panasonic has] a whole smart city in Japan,” Skorman said, “and they were featured at a smart city conference in Las Vegas.”

Jarrett Wendt, executive vice president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, said the company is pleased to be the lead industry partner in the Springs’ smart city initiative.

“CityNOW’s unique approach focused on stakeholder alignment has had tremendous success in Denver,” Wendt said. “Multiple stakeholder projects have included city and county of Denver, Xcel Energy, Denver International Airport, RTD, NREL, and CDOT, illustrating the power of having true alignment. We look forward to continued success with our partners in Olympic City USA.”