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Creating New Value and Solving Social Issues Through Business ActivitiesCreating a Safe and Secure Society

Canon contributes to the creation of a safe and secure society through network visual solutions that integrate cameras and video technology with advanced IT.

Urbanization is advancing rapidly around the world. Forecasters predict as many as about 70% of the global population will live in cities by 2050, up from 50% today. Rising urban populations create traffic congestion, which is thought to cause huge economic and environmental losses. In addition, the threats to the safety and security of homes and businesses continue to diversify due to the increasing incidence of urban crime, terrorism and cyberattacks associated with advances in IT. To mitigate growing risks while protecting freedom of movement for people and goods, new urban infrastructure is needed to promote safety and security in cities. We must rethink the creation and management of urban spaces to ensure the everyday safety of residents.

In Japan, cities are undergoing extensive redevelopment to prepare sporting venues and surrounding precincts for large-scale sporting events such as Rugby World Cup 2019™, Japan and the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. At the same time, the numbers of people visiting Japan from overseas are expected to rise as the country is highlighted internationally. Maintaining law and order while ensuring people’s safety and security and protecting infrastructure are essential to ensure these events are a success.

Network cameras help to maintain law and order and protect infrastructure, both by anticipating safety or security threats and supporting appropriate responses, and by helping to address issues based on accurate recordings. Having positioned network cameras as a new business under Phase V of its Excellent Global Corporation Plan, Canon is working to upgrade the product lineup and to reinforce in-house solutions development capabilities. This involves the integration of core camera technologies developed over years, including optical, sensor and imaging engine technologies as well as image-processing software, with the network control and cloud services that have been cultivated in MFP development.

Using expertise from Group members such as Axis, a major player in the network camera industry from Sweden, and top global video management software supplier Milestone Systems, Canon offers integrated, state-of-the-art systems based on advanced network image processing (Axis) and video management technology (Milestone). Going forward, Canon aims to progress the development of network video solutions to extract the necessary data from video content for use in a variety of fields, including health, nursing care, education, transport, and urban infrastructure.

Amid growing adoption of various big data applications in the IoT era, the evolution of image-processing technology is creating uses for network cameras not only in crime prevention, but also from use of video data in new sectors such as manufacturing and marketing. Canon is developing innovative camera-based network video solutions for crime prevention, surveillance, and other applications.

Software responding to safety and security needs

Canon is looking to add value to network camera imaging by responding to network camera market demand for recording and analysis solutions for video content. Work is progressing on the commercialization of video content analysis software for use in the security, customer service, marketing and other sectors.

Concerns are also being raised about how to protect the privacy of individuals in the context of continuously recording network cameras. Canon has developed “Moving Object Mask” software that can render a person as a moving silhouette to stop their identification in a video feed. We have also developed “People Counter” software to provide instant readouts of the number of people in a frame (approximately 1,500), with potential marketing applications. This could also be used to help security, from assessing overcrowding or people flow in various types of venues to the deployment of security personnel or giving evacuation instructions. Moreover, we have developed “Profile Analyzer” software for estimating the age and gender profile of a group of people from video data. We are continuing to develop the technology to gauge crowds at concerts or large-scale sporting events, or to search and track specific people in a crowd quickly using live video feeds from multiple cameras.

Readout from People Counter v1.0 software

High-resolution network camera for Full HD color video even in low light

Canon’s ME20F-SHN network camera has an in-house-developed Full Frame 35mm CMOS sensor to enable professional Full HD color video recording even in almost total darkness or low light settings where little would be visible to the naked eye. The product has a wide range of potential uses in night-time monitoring, surveillance or disaster and crime prevention, including monitoring rivers or other border crossings and photographing animals in the wild.

ME20F-SHN video recording (left) versus image using naked eye (right)

Solutions for a wide range of needs

Including Group member company Axis’ product lineup, Canon can offer a range of products to cater to varied customer needs. We supply box-type monitoring cameras for a strong, conspicuous deterrent; module cameras to embed in the landscape or for portability; thermal imaging cameras for objects, vehicles or people; cameras for installation inside trains or vehicles; and cameras that can endure harsh conditions in terms of vibration, impact, shaking or temperature variation. We have products to suit a varied range of user requirements.

The first product jointly developed by Axis with Canon, the AXIS Q1659 combines Canon’s superlative optical and imaging technologies with the advanced network image-processing technology of Axis to deliver high-resolution video surveillance capabilities. The camera is compatible with eight different interchangeable lenses for Canon’s EOS-series digital SLR cameras, enabling a wide range of potential uses. It is ideal for remote surveillance in settings from cities and airports to stadiums.

Network cameras can be used to protect public spaces

By combining these various products and software, Canon is catering to varied safety and security needs, including surveillance in shops, restaurants and other commercial facilities; factories and hospitals; stations, airports and parts of the transport network; and public spaces.