The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is poised to be the most futuristic one yet.
We had an inkling that the 2020 games would introduce new, high-tech features when Japan announced they were trialing a driverless taxi service to use in the 2020 Olympic games. But we’ve recently gotten on input on the different innovations spectators can look forward to in 2020.
Here’s 7 high-tech innovations that will appear at the Tokyo Olympics.
Hydrogen cars could transport athletes.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Several automakers are currently investing in hydrogen fuel cells, including Japanese automaker Toyota whose hydrogen car, the Miari, is pictured above.
Hydrogen-powered cars boast a longer range than battery-powered cars, but a lack of infrastructure (hydrogen stations) has led to general skepticism that the technology can catch on. For hydrogen-powered cars to become a reality at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese government will have to set up hydrogen stations nearby.
Driverless taxis could shuttle tourists around.
Yuya Shino/ Reuters
As mentioned earlier, Japan is aiming to release robocabs just in time for the Tokyo Olympics to drive tourists around the city.
So far the service is being tested by approximately 50 people using the car to perform basic tasks like going to the grocery store. A company called Robot Taxi is responsible for refitting a Toyota Estima with driverless technology in time for the 2020 games.
Spectators could use electronic passes to get into the stadium.
Japan may take the electronic ticket system a step forward by introducing e-passes.
Called the Wonder Japan Pass, the credit-card like device would provide entry to the stadium and even spectators’ hotel. The pass could even be used as a valid ID and payment system, Newsweek reported.
Stadium gate keepers may utilize facial recognition technology to verify ticket holders.
After spectators swipe into the stadium using an electronic pass, facial recognition technology will verify the ticket holder before they can go to their seat.
A smartphone app will help guide tourists to their seat in one of 10 available languages.
The app would ensure tourists could navigate the stadium and surrounding areas successfully, regardless of where they come from.
Source: Japan Times
Tokyo will install a security system that uses “tens of thousands” of cameras and sensors.
Electronics giant Panasonic will install “tens of thousands” of fixed and mobile cameras to work in tandem with restricted-area sensors to secure the stadium.
Source: Al Jazeera
Space entertainment startup ALE is working on producing an artificial meteor shower for the 2020 games.
Picture of an Eta aquarid meteor during the 2013 meteor shower.
David Kingham on Flickr
ALE is looking to launch satellites 50 miles above Earth that will eject glowing pellets into the sky. As they descend, the friction will cause them to burn up mid-air. Since a single launch costs a whopping $9 million, ALE is looking for sponsors. The startup will begin staging launches in 2018.
“Our artificial meteor will be used for not only entertainment but also [as] a dominant tool to make a continuous observation of the upper atmosphere,” Hironori Sahara, an aerospace engineer on the ALE project, told Newsweek.
But high-tech innovations come at a price. Japan originally budgeted $3 billion for the games, but Japanese media is reporting that price could be six times higher.