Japan plans to take us to the future during the Tokyo Olympics 2020, and none is surprised; it’s a nation at the vanguard of innovation and technology. The 2020 Olympics is definitely not going to be all about games, like other nations, Japan will debut its most sophisticated technologies. And the testament is evident: Japanese broadcaster NHK has announced plans to cover every event at the 2020 Olympic Tokyo using a super hi-tech; microphones that can process sound from anywhere in the stadium and a picture quality that’s 16 times sharper than HD televisions – Super 8K.
With some $18 billion bringing all the fictions to reality when every cook is done, it’s absolutely safe to imagine that all speculations would rarely divulge every piece of surprise the tech nation is holding for the world. In a similar event – the 1964 Tokyo summer games, Japan debuted shinkansen, the world’s first ‘bullet’ high-speed train and it has plenty rooms to stun us again, with the world already outgrowing patience to see some of the leaked 2020 Tokyo technologies in reality.
Here is a list of the 2020 Tokyo technologies that have been leaked so far.
1. Driverless taxis that would shuttle tourists
Japan plans to deploy autonomous driving robo-taxis during the Tokyo Olympics 2020 to drive tourists and athletics around the city. Its major provider of online services, DeNA is working with Nissan and as well as Toyota to develop the robocabs. Passengers will summon the robocabs using a downloadable mobile app that accepts voice commands. Robot Taxi Inc is also working on the same project and nearly completed; currently being tested by some 50 persons to move around selected eventful locations in the city.
2. Robot helper
Plans are ongoing to have a small army of robots camped close to the Olympic village in Tokyo. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics robots will help the city guests with directions, transportation and language translation. They will also provide other minor assistance like helping tourists to carry bags. Japan is planning to showcase a future where robots assist humans regardless of their nationality, age or socioeconomic status and will build a small village for them.
3. Facial recognition technology
NEC has unveiled a facial recognition system that will be used to identify more than 300,000 persons at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The system will identify athletes, media, volunteers, and the event staff. NEC on August 7th, 2018 demonstrated the technology and disclosed that the system will help to mitigate potential security challenges and unnecessary delays with the previous authentication system that usually take hours to complete.
4. Electronic passes
Japan may introduce e-pass to improve traditional electronic ticket system. Already dubbed the Wonder Japan Pass, the device which looks like a credit card that can also be used as payment system or valid ID will provide entry to all areas that require a pass. This will include the stadium and spectator’s hotel rooms.
5. Algae-fueled jets and buses
The world has been working hard to introduce a fuel source that is green but have faced challenges of expensive production procedure. Japan is making a move towards algae fuel for jets and buses and would launch an airline fully powered by algae fuel during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Boeing has signed on and working hard to roll out a fuel source that can cut carbon dioxide emission as much as 70%. The company is partnering with more than 40 organizations to bring the project to reality. Nippon Airways, University of Tokyo, the Japanese government, and Japan Airlines are a few among others working with Boeing for the project.
6. Artificial meteorites shower
Japanese astronomy startup ALE is working on a cube-shaped microsatellite that will deliver artificial meteor showers across the city sky. ALE is collaborating with Japanese universities to design the microsatellite that will be launched into the space before the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The artificial meteorites will come as special chemicals shot from the microsatellite in the form of spheres that will glow like a 3-magnitude star while burning and racing at five miles per second. The startup company is planning to make the mimicked asteroid shower estimated to cost $4 million to come in different colors.
7. Visitors might catch human referees using 3D laser technology to analyze a gymnast's complex motions
To provide a system for more accurate scores, Japan is providing a 3D laser technology for the visitors to analyze the complex motions in gymnastics at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
8. Hydrogen powered village
In more race to demonstrate how the world can fight carbon emission, the Japanese government has plans to spend some $300 million to build a village completely powered by hydrogen as one of the 2020 Tokyo technologies. A large pipeline laid underground will directly supply the gas onsite. The government is also spending $385 million to subsidize Toyota’s new fuel-cell Mirai aside from its vision to provide 6,000 fuel cell cars for transportation during the 2020 games Tokyo.
9. 5G Wireless Connections
If referencing past Olympic Games will be significant, Tokyo will be expecting at least 500,000 foreign visitors for the 2020 games, with everyone trying to access the internet simultaneously using their cell phones. Japan has plans to live up to the challenge. Its largest mobile operator DoCoMo is developing 5G wireless networks in partnership with Nokia. The networks will run at high frequencies during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The companies have already achieved data transmission speed of over 2Gbps while demonstrating the technical progress on 5G radio equipment. That’s more than 6X the speed of 4G with 300 Mbps transmission speed.
10. Real-time Language Translation
Knowing that language would pose a communication challenge among the 206 National Olympic committees, Japan is making a giant stride to provide instant language translation before they arrive Tokyo. VoicTras is a real-time language translation app that has been developed for the 2020 Olympic Games. It has support for text translation in up to 27 languages. Panasonic is also working on a wearable device [to be worn around the neck] that translates up to 10 languages instantly to Japan and vice versa. They are also working on a Smartphone app that can scan and instantly translate signs in Japanese.