According to a report on March 13, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is not only a sports event, but also a number of high-tech technologies such as driverless cars, robot volunteers and ultra-high-definition television. Japan hopes to take this opportunity to show that it has returned to the ranks of technology and innovation.
Japan’s last summer Olympics was held in Tokyo in 1964. The high-speed train Shinkansen, designed with streamlined body and bullets, surprised visitors and made the Shinkansen a synonym for cool and efficient transportation. Japan has used the Olympics to showcase its technological strength. From Sharp's LCD screen to Sony's Walkman, Japan has enjoyed an unbeatable reputation in the field of technological innovation. But since the 21st century, Silicon Valley giants and Chinese and Korean competitors have caught up and even acquired several famous Japanese technology companies. Professor Yoko Ishikura of Hitotsubashi University in Japan said: "One of the biggest problems facing Japan is that we still feel that we are very creative. But look at other countries in the world to know that Japan is not the most creative. The Japanese are not conscious. It is worrying about the changes that are taking place in other countries."
Visitors to Japan often find it strange to see that there are still many low-end technology products in the country. Old-fashioned devices such as flip phones and fax machines are still commonly used. The government and many companies plan to change this situation.
Masa Takaya, spokesperson for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said: "One of our visions for the 2020 Olympics is to make it the most innovative Olympic Games in history."
Masanori Matsushima, manager of the Panasonic Olympics business unit, is responsible for the entire exhibition area, which specializes in the technology that was put into use during the Olympics. He said that the Olympics have inspired Japanese companies, and they have used this opportunity to invent new creative products.
Upon arrival at the airport, visitors will receive a multilingual robotic reception. They can also choose a destination from their smartphone and then arrive in an automatic seat. Panasonic is working on a sophisticated automated translation system that can be used, for example, in checkout counters. The two speak in their own language on the screen of each side, and the text translation will be displayed on the other party's screen in time.
Nippon Electric will use a facial recognition system to identify 300,000 athletes, staff and journalists, and identify one person in 0.3 seconds, which will speed up the entry into the venue and strengthen security measures.
Japan's NHK TV station will play the game through 8K ultra-high-definition screen to surprise the audience. In preparation for the Olympics, NHK has broadcast the world's first 8K program in December 2018.
The audience experience of sports audiences will also increase, and advanced motion sensor equipment will provide a range of data, such as the position of the ball, heart rate and athletes' movements. Fujitsu even cooperates with the International Gymnastics Federation to input action data to assist the referee.
The most innovative aspect of the car traffic field. As the automotive industry begins to undergo major changes, CLSA analyst Christopher Richter said: "2020 is an ideal time, it may be the dividing line between the old and new world."
Yasunobu Seki, general manager of Toyota's Olympic and Paralympic Department, said that Toyota will use its futuristic driverless car e-Palette, which has no steering wheel and can be used in pre-defined areas.
ANA recently tested unmanned buses and some unmanned taxi services at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo, which is fully operational during the 2020 Olympics. However, Crete also reminded: "We still have a long way to go to achieve a completely driverless car."
The Olympics will also be an opportunity for automakers to showcase the latest driving technology. Toyota’s Yasunobu Seki said: “This is a good opportunity to show that hydrogen-powered cars can provide convenience for people to travel.”