Panasonic hopes to supply robot porters & wearable translators for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
A recent report by Reuters highlights that Panasonic, one of the top sponsors of Olympic Games since 1988, hopes to earn at least $1.5 billion from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Japanese tech company intends to supply robot porters and wearable translation devices, among other innovative solutions, so the Olympics becomes a great showcase for Japanese technology.
Panasonic has mostly supplied TV screens to host venues in the past Games, and renewed its sponsorship contract with the International Olympics Committee just this February. However, Masahiro Ido, the director of Panasonic’s Olympics Enterprise Division, said in the interview that the company has high hopes for the upcoming Games to “spur the development of new businesses” with it being held on home ground.
“Panasonic is not just a home appliance maker, we have all kinds of technologies, including ones related to social infrastructure,” he added, as he highlights that the company is looking to reduce its reliance on the competitive consumer electronics segment.
Even though most of Panasonic’s divisions were going through a company-wide restructuring which resulted in spending cuts, in an effort to recover from net losses of 1.5 trillion yen ($14.6 billion, £8.7 billion) over the two years to March 2013, the company is expecting to earn at least 150 billion yen, or $1.5 billion from contracts related to the Games. It also added that potential revenue, which will include earnings from new ventures following on from the Games, is seven times that amount.
Other high-tech innovation proposals which are centred around the 2020 Olympics include:
- Swapping cash for a payment cards which would be accepted on trains, in shops and restaurants around Japan’s capital
- Systems to prevent traffic jams or control self-driving vehicles
- Charging stations for environmentally friendly electric cars
- Temperature control with ‘cool spots’ around the city, featuring solar-powered fans and mist-spraying jets
Besides these innovative technologies, Panasonic also wish to supply appliances for the Athlete’s Village in Tokyo Bay, if it wins the contract.
“There are 87,000 hotel rooms within 10 kilometers of the Olympics center, and several thousand just for the International Olympics Committee,” Ido said. “The TVs in their rooms can’t be made by Samsung, of course.”