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INTERVIEW: How Canon Evolved from Film to Digital and Everything In Between

CTA Staff
Canon has been on the forefront of innovation in this ever-changing space. Now they are looking toward the future of connectivity.

The imaging industry has undergone a massive evolution in the past few decades, and Canon — a Consumer Technology Association (CTA) member for more than 25 years — has been on the forefront of innovation in this ever-changing space. Now they are looking toward the future of connectivity. 

We had a chance to speak with Eliott Peck, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Imaging Technologies and Communications Group for Canon U.S.A. and Chairman and CEO of Canon Information Technology Services, about where Canon came from and where they are going next:

When was Canon first founded? What type of technology did Canon focus on when it began?
Canon has a long-standing history of making cameras. What began with the establishment of Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in 1933, then becoming Precision Optical Industry Co. Ltd. in 1934, it first produced the Kwanon, a prototype for Japan’s first-ever 35mm camera with a focal plane based shutter. By 1946, the company was producing its first “Canon” cameras. In 1947 the company changed its name to Canon Camera Co., Inc. then shortened to Canon Inc. in 1969. Canon U.S.A., Inc., was founded in 1965 and still serves as the headquarters for all Canon operations in North and South America.

How has the company evolved alongside the ever-changing technology industry?
From the days when film was king to today’s digital-centric connected world, Canon has been at the forefront of an ever evolving imaging industry by consistently developing high quality products that meet the wants, needs and demands of our evolving customer base. Canon prides itself on its thorough R&D processes and places a high importance on vetting customer feedback to ensure our latest generations of products incorporate the technological features our customers expect to see.

How has Canon benefitted from Consumer Technology Association membership throughout the past few decades?
CTA has helped us see the world outside our expertise and history. In the analog era our products were very much stand alone and today, in the digital age, connectivity is a priority and we have CTA to thank for that. CTA provides a platform for Canon to be in touch and see opportunities with other companies and emerging connected technologies in ways we never before thought possible. And it offers an opportunity for those other member companies to get to know us as well.

What is next in the future for Canon?
When looking towards the future for Canon U.S.A., Inc., a main goal is to always satisfy consumer demand for innovative high-quality consumer imaging products from entry-level to professional. This will certainly involve a focus on end-to-end solutions from input to output which Canon is already well established. As we saw at this year’s CES, everything is connected, even our cars. Canon is also looking outside the world of traditional imaging to leverage its core expertise in optics, sensor, processors, printing, low light imaging capabilities and more to launch us into new businesses, as was shown at Canon EXPO 2015, such as medical, security, surveillance, mixed reality and 8K imaging just to name a few.