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Panasonic deploys contactless biometrics, AR to speed up digital transformation in Japan

Panasonic deploys contactless biometrics, AR to speed up digital transformation in Japan

Panasonic has unveiled a number of new projects using cutting-edge technologies, including biometrics, to speed up the process of digital transformation in Japan for retail and tourism.

Among the technologies deployed are facial recognition systems replacing manned checkpoints at entrances to commercial venues, and advanced projection mapping solutions that can create virtual environments aiming to replace their real-world equivalents. Also coming are self-service biometric supermarket tills and hotel check-ins via smartphone.

According to Panasonic, while many of these solutions were first created to avoid physical contact during the pandemic, it is very likely that most of them will remain in use in the coming years.

International tourist visits to Japan halted almost completely during the pandemic, according to the company announcement, but the sector is expected to rebound when restrictions are reduced. The intervening time presents an opportunity for companies in the travel sector to innovate, Panasonic says.

The company also confirmed that it recently launched some of these digital initiatives in December 2021 in Osaka, where Panasonic is headquartered.

The trials were organized in collaboration with the city’s historic Dotonbori district and saw nearly 20 stores participate in a trial of digital solutions provided by Panasonic. Technologies deployed as part of these trials include face biometrics-powered self-service payment kiosks with mask detection capabilities and augmented reality (AR) maps of the area.

Moving forward, Panasonic confirmed it is also discussing with the Dotonbori district a possible collaboration focusing on the Osaka EXPO 2025 and a separate one for a new integrated resort mooted for construction in Osaka Bay.

The services Panasonic may provide as part of these collaborations might include pre-visit guidance for prospective attendees, facial recognition-based entry control systems, and AR-based guidance and entertainment services.

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