Canon contributes to the creation of a safe and secure society through network visual solutions that integrate cameras and video technology with advanced IT.
With urbanization advancing rapidly around the world, it is predicted that as much as about 70% of the total global population will live in cities by 2050, up from 50% today. We also face an increasingly diverse range of threats to the safety and security of our personal and business lives due to rising urban crime, terrorism, cyber-attacks coinciding with the rapid evolution of IT, and large-scale natural disasters caused by climate change. In order to take measures against these growing risks, 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, various cities are undergoing extensive redevelopment to prepare for large-scale sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup 2019TM, Japan and the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. At the same time, the number of people visiting Japan from overseas is expected to rise. Besides ensuring that such events are a success, investment in infrastructure to maintain law and order while ensuring people's safety and security is a critical issue.
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 its product lineup and to reinforce their solutions and development capabilities. This involves the integration of core camera technologies developed over many years, including optical, sensor and imaging engine technologies as well as video analysis software, with the network control and cloud services that have been cultivated in MFP development.
Amid increasing adoption of various big data applications in the IoT era, video data from network cameras is increasingly being used not only for security, but also in manufacturing and marketing. Besides crime prevention and surveillance, Canon is developing network camera-based innovative video analytics solutions for other applications.
Development in this area has accelerated since Axis, a major player in the network camera industry from Sweden, and top global video management software supplier Milestone joined the Canon Group. In 2018, we also welcomed BriefCam, a leading company in video analytics software based in Israel, into the Canon Group. Going forward, we will pursue development of network visual 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.
With these initiatives, we believe that we can contribute to the realization of SDG 11, “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Moreover, by developing optimized solutions for such customers as governments and commercial facilities, Canon seeks to satisfy societal demand for advanced, resilient and sustainable urban infrastructure.
The AXIS Q1659, the first product developed jointly by Axis and Canon, combines Canon's superlative optical and imaging technologies with the advanced network video processing technology of Axis to deliver high resolution video surveillance capabilities. Full compatibility with eight interchangeable lenses (from wide-angle to telephoto) used in Canon's EOS-series digital SLR cameras enables a wide range of potential applications.
Another example is the ME20F-SHN, an ultra-high-sensitivity network camera equipped with Canon's proprietary 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor, making color image capture possible in low-light environments that had been difficult for conventional network cameras. Its ultra-high sensitivity enables image capture even when there is little to no light and a subject would not be visible to the naked eye, allowing it to effectively monitor critical facilities, waterways or border crossings, as well as disaster sites during the night. Standard features include intelligent functions for automatic detection of unusual or abnormal events to counter illegal trespassing or camera-related vandalism. With a range of potential applications from national defense to prevention of crime, this network camera can help to protect people day and night.
In the network camera market, there is a demand for solutions including recording and analysis of captured video. Canon is adding value to network camera video to promote the development of video analysis software products for security, customer service and marketing sectors.
At an international rugby match held last year in Japan, Canon conducted a field trial for a wide-area security system utilizing face recognition technology for real-time detection and tracking technology via network camera imaging of pre-registered individuals*. This technology is expected to contribute to more efficient security, support the reception of VIPs and help locate lost children.
Canon has also conducted field trials of software for analyzing crowd congestion by time period in the large spaces or in front of the shops in the stadium, based on real-time people counts. Tests demonstrated the software can apply AI-based technology to count crowds accurately, even in congested areas where people are facing different directions. This can be applied to support smooth event management or marketing purposes.
While the use of network camera video is expanding, privacy concerns exist around their use. Canon has commercialized “Moving Object Mask” video analysis software that can render a person as a moving silhouette within a video feed to enable monitoring and congestion management in public spaces such as restaurants or in meeting rooms while helping to allay such privacy concerns.
In providing video analytics solutions combining software for video analysis with video from high quality and high definition cameras, Canon is contributing to the creation of a safe and secure society.
Rapid adoption of network cameras necessitates ways for efficiently extracting necessary data from the vast quantity of video images generated. BriefCam's video content analysis (VCA) software utilizing its proprietary Video Synopsis technology enables images taken at different times to be displayed at the same time without overlapping thus shortening the video stream to roughly 3–5% of its original length. It gives the user instant access to images of interest by enabling video images to be filtered by object size, color or various other characteristics.
Functions such as simultaneous searching of multiple videos, automatic charting of filter results, and listing of people and vehicles within images further boost video analysis efficiency.