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Panasonic has teamed up with the Area15 entertainment company in Las Vegas to create immersive interactive entertainment based on Panasonic’s projectors.
The Japanese conglomerate’s Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America division will provide projection systems for Area15 over the next five years. The companies made the announcement at the tech trade show CES 2022 in Las Vegas.
Area15 is an experiential event and entertainment district in a big warehouse located just off the Strip in Las Vegas. It offers themed entertainment experiences and ever-changing art and retail experiences for locals and visitors of all ages. The experiences include live events, immersive activations, art installations, cool design elements, unique retail, fancy technology, bars and eateries, and more.
Panasonic will provide software development, engineering, projection design, show-quality support, projectors, and more to help Area15 build 360-degree visual experiences, said Joe Conover, strategic manager of Panasonic Themed Entertainment Solutions, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Area15 is using Panasonic’s PT-RQ35KU 3-Chip DLP Solid Shine 4K laser projectors for its multi-purpose live events space, The Portal. Fourteen PT-RQ35s now deliver 30,000 lumens of high brightness and 4K resolution for eye-catching visuals.
The PT-RQ35KU Series is the smallest and lightest 4K projector of its class and the latest addition to the wide range of laser projectors already in use.
Panasonic has also been supplying projectors for the immersive Van Gogh art exhibits (I’ve seen the one in San Francisco and it’s pretty amazing) as well as the first Illuminarium Experiences spectacle in Atlanta. Conover said Illuminarium, which will feature things like cool dinosaur visual experiences, is almost done with its construction.
Panasonic worked with the Area15 creators, Michael Beneville of Beneville Studios and Winston Fisher of Fisher Brothers, in mid-2020 as they were building the place. began its formal partnership with Area 15 in the spring of 2021. The first experience using Panasonic projectors inside Area15’s Portal, a 7,500-square-feet, 360-degree projection-mapped room. When you walk into the room, you get a blast of light from Panasonic’s 20,000 lumen projectors that project onto all the walls.
“The Portal is a fully immersive room within Area15, and it makes a great impression when you walk in the door,” said Conover. “They always had the vision to build this immersive destination. They also created other activations which utilize projection as well.”
That early partnership led to more discussions about projects coming in future years.
“Our conversations pivoted quickly towards providing them with the latest and greatest technology and a 4K experience within that room to create this immersive space,” Conover said. “We’ll be able to support Area 15 for years to come.”
Conover said that it was encouraging to see others willing to invest in places for in-person entertainment, even in the midst of the pandemic.
“They’re willing to take risks and try and pave new ground,” he said.
I’m still waiting for the day when these projectors become a lot more interactive.
Panasonic also unveiled an alliance with Phiar to create a better heads-up display for drivers to see hazards on the road via data that shows up on the windshield.
Gene Karshenboym, CEO of Phiar, said that the company is working on using AI to sense the world around a car and identify driving alerts or threats, and put the right information on the heads-up display in real time. The idea is to get the car to get a true understanding of its surroundings, Karshenboym said.
Panasonic also uses an inward-facing camera to detect the driver’s own status, like whether the driver is distracted or not.
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