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SBD Global/August 7, 2014/Olympics

Panasonic Eyes $1.5B Olympic Win With Tokyo Games Infrastructure, Innovations

Robot porters and wearable translation devices are just some of the innovations Panasonic Corp. "would like to launch for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," an event it hopes will earn it at least $1.5B, according to Sophie Knight of REUTERS. As one of the top sponsors of the Games since '88, Panasonic "has mainly supplied TV screens to host venues." But with the event coming home, Panasonic "sees the Olympics-related technology and infrastructure contracts up for grabs as an opportunity to expand its other businesses as it seeks to reduce its reliance on the highly competitive consumer electronics segment." Panasonic Olympic Enterprise Division Dir Masahiro Ido said, "The Olympics will without a doubt spur the development of new businesses. Panasonic is not just a home appliance maker, we have all kinds of technologies, including ones related to social infrastructure." Some of the ideas Ido's division is proposing "include a payment card to be used in trains, shops and restaurants across Tokyo, eliminating the need to carry cash, and systems to prevent traffic jams or control self-driving vehicles" (REUTERS, 8/6).
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