Post #31: Turning Japanese

Billions all over the world will be sitting down in front of their screens a year today to watch the opening ceremony of the 32 nd Summer Olympics…

Post #31: Turning Japanese

Billions all over the world will be sitting down in front of their screens a year today to watch the opening ceremony of the 32nd Summer Olympics, which starts in Tokyo on the penultimate Friday of July. Each Olympics brings something new in terms of both sporting endeavour and the spectacle of the opening ceremony. However, the event also serves as an opportunity to demonstrate the host country’s position in the world. Japan has promised to make its Olympics the most technologically advanced ever, so what should we expect?

1: Robots. Toyota unveiled earlier this week five robots it will be bringing to the games, each of which in some way will help either athletes or attendees at venues have a superior experience. The robots will be skilled in terms of providing information, bringing food & drink and even carrying equipment (a robotic carrier will, for example, retrieve thrown javelins, balls and so on). 

2: Cashless payments. While Japan has one of the highest levels of robotic penetration in the world (i.e. robots per inhabitant ratio), it has one of the lowest levels of digital payment acceptance. Japanese society has historically relied on cash. This is all set to change. Visa (one of the sponsors of the Olympics) has been actively working with businesses including quick service restaurants, convenience stores and transportation organisation to grow digital acceptance. Currently some 20% of payments in Japan are transacted digitally; by 2025, the Japanese Government has said it wants this figure to be 40%.

3: Facial recognition. Japanese authorities are working on a range of use cases for facial recognition technologies to be implemented. Entry into stadia will likely be accelerated via this method, with security also improved. Elsewhere, taxis in Japan increasingly are scanning customers’ faces and then subsequently serving them advertisements tailored to their background.

Next summer promises to be very exciting in more ways than just sport. Watch this space.


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights22 July 2021

Season 3, Post 29: Quiz time

Your one and only question is the following: what do electric vehicles and plant-based burgers have in common? The answer: they’re both getting better the whole time. As improvements to these products occur, so adoption levels should increase. This intriguing analogy was made to us by the Chief Executive of Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech, […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights15 July 2021

Season 3, Post 28: The magic of mushrooms

Mycelium-tech could be the next big thing. You might think you are familiar with the humble mushroom. Fried, they work well as a breakfast option, for example. Alternatively, they could perhaps be chopped into a pasta dish or salad. However, when you buy mushrooms in your local store or – even better – see them […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights06 July 2021

Season 3, Post 27: Take a trip on the hyperloop

Imagine being able to get from central London to Edinburgh in less than an hour, or from downtown New York to San Francisco in fewer than five. Think of all that extra time you would save. Travelling the former route by train currently takes close on four hours, while, a coast-to-coast US trip might require […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right


Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.