Advances in technology are having an increasing impact on society, and the pace of development continues to accelerate. To meet the challenge of these rapidly changing times, Canon stays on the cutting edge by actively pursuing R&D around the world.
Canon is pursuing four directions to further expand our business and the technologies we have cultivated through the development of such consumer products as digital cameras and inkjet printers, and such office equipment as copy machines and laser beam printers.
In the long run, by combining Canon’s powerful hardware with software technologies that employ AI, we will be able to develop diverse solutions to meet society’s needs.
Canon’s working concept has been to "make the invisible visible." In the future, as technology improves, we will not only be able to see things that were once invisible, we will also be able to understand and even make assessments based on what we are now able to see.
Canon has three core-competency technologies in the field of imaging, where Canon has built its reputation.
Canon utilizes these assets to further develop technologies that take us from "seeing" to "understanding and assessing" the invisible.
This effort will lead to such advancements as intelligent surveillance cameras and diagnostic imaging support. Canon’s core-competency technologies also extend to the printer business—electrophotographic toners, and inks for inkjet printers, and paper handling—another of Canon core strengths.
One use of Canon’s artificial intelligence is for "Computed Aided Diagnosis" in the healthcare field. Canon has developed software to process the image data generated by such diagnostic imaging equipment as CT and MRI and is working to develop technology that uses AI to support diagnostic decision-making, towards realizing diagnoses that won’t miss any signs of cancer. Specifically, we are focusing on technologies that will meet the needs of society that involve processing and sorting vast amounts of image data, image processing that clearly show cancer lesions, and identifying abnormalities in images.
In recent years, Canon has also worked to automate production lines for cameras and office multifunction printers. The IoT will be integral to making further gains in efficiency and we aim to use IoT-based systems as a tool to achieve even greater improvements in production efficiency.
AI and the IoT will play an increasingly vital role in technology from this point forward, but they cannot solve every problem. AI and the IoT are tools that require direction from the user to be in any way effective. Canon, having accumulated manufacturing expertise steadily over time, is well positioned to make effective use of these tools.
Canon’s greatest asset is our readiness to take on challenges. Our approach is based on the guiding principle of the San-ji (Three Selfs) Spirit—self-motivation, self-management and self-awareness—which has been passed down through Canon R&D as part of our corporate DNA. The essence of the Canon spirit is to avoid making excuses and doing what has to be done to solve problems and get results. Canon retains a corporate culture like that of a local business in that once we decide on a course of action, people from every department come together in a concerted effort to achieve a singular goal.