Japan Sees Growing 8K Adoption in Business Sector

Mike Wheatley

Japan’s national broadcaster NHK says that businesses in the country are increasingly adopting 8K technology. The upsurge in interest follows NHK’s launch of the world’s first 8K satellite TV channel last December.


NHK reported last week on the case of Shutoko Engineering Company, which has been contracted to inspect and maintain expressways in Japan’s capital city Tokyo. As part of this work, Shutoko has been conducting feasibility tests on the use of 8K cameras installed in vehicles it uses to inspect the walls of tunnels in the city’s highway system.

Shutoko’s tests involve filming the walls as a vehicle drives past them, then using the ultra-high definition footage it records to carry out inspections. Previously it wasn’t possible to carry out visual checks using video footage as the resolution was never great enough, and that would often mean that roads had to be closed instead so human workers could perform the checks manually.

But 8K resolution makes video checks viable as it has 16-times as many pixels as standard high-definition video footage, allowing for much sharper and clearer images.

Shutoko officials told NHK the idea is to use 8K cameras to make its work more efficient. The company will continue its tests until the end of the year, and eventually hopes to automate much of its road maintenance work by combining 8K with new artificial intelligence-based technologies.

Shukoto executive Yoshifumi Nagata said 8K technology would also enable the company to reduce its operating costs.

Elsewhere, Japanese electronics giant Sharp is said to be developing 8K resolution closed-circuit cameras for use in factories and other businesses. The company says 8K technology can help to boost the effectiveness of CCTV cameras as it allows them to spot details humans might not see. It said it hopes to launch its first products by the end of the year.

While business adoption of 8K is unlikely to help the likes of Samsung and Sony sell more of their 8K TV sets in the near-term, the growing awareness of the technology certainly won’t hinder their efforts either.