DIGITAL digest

Solutions Forum Gives Canon a Platform

CHICAGO—Canon U.S.A. recently held its Digital Solutions Forum 2003, an annual showcase of the company’s technology and strategic vision. This year’s event occupied more than 100,000 square feet of the McCormick Place Convention Center. A large portion was devoted to displaying solutions for key markets targeted by Canon, including financial services, education (on-demand books), law enforcement, general office, healthcare, color publishing and legal services.

“Today’s demanding technology customer is giving considerable attention to workflow and the bottom line, and what an investment made now will mean for the future,” asserts Kinya Uchida, company president and CEO.

The company has continued to grow despite facing a flat, or possibly declining, overall market, reports Tod Pike, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Canon U.S.A. Imaging Systems Group. MEAP (Multifunctional Embedded Application Platform), unveiled at the forum, is key to sustaining that trend, Pike says.

The open, JAVA-based development platform for multifunction devices enables the creation of multiple, customized software applications that run inside the device. It is said to empower third parties and customers, as well as Canon itself, to develop unique capabilities in devices that support the technology.

Canon MEAP will reside as a functional option on the interface, similar to the copy, mailbox and send functions currently offered. Once selected, a customized interface will appear that has been tailored specifically to the document workflow processes or other needs designated by the customer. Up to nine MEAP applications can be installed simultaneously on any given compatible device.

Among the first Canon devices slated to offer the MEAP architecture are the company’s imageRUNNER Series, including the new imageRUNNER 5020/6020 Series black-and-white machines introduced at the forum. The company says it intends to release additional MEAP-compatible imageRUNNER systems throughout 2003.

From a hardware standpoint, the new series encompasses four models—the imageRUNNER 5020/ 5020i (50 ppm) and 6020/6020i (60 ppm), with 600-dpi resolution and monthly volume ratings of up to 200,000 and 230,000 impressions per month, respectively. All models ship standard with a document feeder, network interface card and Canon utility software.

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