PyeongChang 2018

Live From PyeongChang: Tokyo 2020 House Uses Tech To Promote Games

If there is one lesson for everyone involved with an Olympics, it is that it is never too early to start thinking about the next one. And that is especially true for the organizers and host cities of the 2020 Summer Games, making today’s opening of the Tokyo 2020 House at PyeongChang Olympics an important happening.

The Tokyo 2020 House is open for business in PyeongChang.

Yukihio Nunomura, vice director general/COO, Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, says that having 2020 House in the center of a number of venues in PyeongChang provides a great showcase for Tokyo as a host city. And, with a number of cool next-generation technologies, visitors to Tokyo House will be able to literally see themselves in Tokyo.

Topping the list of experiences is the use of a video-projection screen that is 4.5 meters tall and 12.5 meters wide. The screen displays promotional videos about Tokyo and a special interactive video called “Tokyo Traveller.”

Getting scanned for a 3D avatar

The interactive experience begins when a visitor steps onto a platform located inside a 360-degree camera track. A camera rig with four modeling cameras placed vertically circles the subject to produce a 360° scan. Five minutes later, the person can see his or her 3D avatar in an animated video, walking and even dancing down the streets of Tokyo.

“Thanks to cutting-edge technology, visitors can have a life-size avatar that looks as if they are really looking around Tokyo with various movements and emotions,” says Masayo Maruyama, senior director, 2020 Games Coordination Council.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi (left) and Masayo Maruyama discussed plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, senior director, events and promotions, Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, adds that other highlights include a chance to explore the venues for the 2020 Games and even experience Japanese culture via things like origami. Even the 2019 Rugby World Cup gets some attention, with a photo area where fans can be photographed scoring a try.

Another corner puts the focus on the five new sports that will debut at the 2020 Games: baseball/softball, skateboarding, surfing, sports climbing, and karate.

Notes Kobayashi, “The new-sport corner allows visitors to have a photo taken and then inserts their image into an image of the sport as if they are competing in it.”

For more of our coverage from the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, including interviews, videos, podcasts, and more, visit our SportsTech Live Blog.