We have positioned this year as the one in which Canon returns to a path of growth, achieving sales and profit growth. To realize this objective, it is essential that we reinforce our high value added products. Today, I will start by discussing our business strategies, first for strengthening existing businesses, then for new businesses, and finally for future technologies.
Strengthening Existing Businesses: Copying Machines and LBPs As for copying machines, with imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems at the core, we will leverage various solutions and our proprietary cloud environment, which we established to facilitate coordination with the external environment. In this way, we will provide various services through the active promotion of alliances with leading IT vendors.
Strengthening Existing Businesses: Cameras
With regard to interchangeable-lens cameras, we will work to improve the performance of image sensors while expanding our lineup of camera bodies and renewing our interchangeable lens offerings. As for compact cameras, the explosive popularity of smartphones is starting to eat into the low-end compact camera segment. In response to smartphones, which offer advantages in terms of network connectivity, we are improving the communication features of cameras to make them more attractive. On the other hand, the increase in smartphones has led to steady growth in the number of users becoming more familiar with photography as well as a significant increase in the number of photos being taken. What is important now is how to lead these users, who can now appreciate the enjoyment of taking pictures, to compact cameras or interchangeable-lens cameras. We are not looking to just compete against smartphones, we would also like for them to co-exist. One such answer is the PowerShot N, which we launched the other day. Introducing new concepts like this is how we will address this challenge.
Strengthening New Businesses: Cinema EOS System
I will now discuss the strengthening of new businesses. In the process of working on digital technologies for copying machines and cameras, we conducted research on elemental technologies from various perspectives, resulting in many ideas that can be used in new products. For example, Cinema EOS System was born from the high level of video-recording performance realized by our digital cameras. Cinema EOS makes use of our internally developed high-performance large-format CMOS sensor, which allows users to shoot movies and commercials with the same resolution as our SLR cameras. Compared with other cinema cameras, ours offer advantages in mobility due to their compact size and light weight. And Canon's broad range of interchangeable lenses offer greatly enhanced visual expression potential. In addition, from a price perspective, Canon also has an advantage, which makes possible significant reductions in the video production costs. Last year, these technological capabilities were highly evaluated in the U.S. and Canon was awarded with a Technology & Engineering Academy Award. Strengthening New Businesses: MR SystemIn July 2012, Canon commercialized the MR (Mixed Reality) System, which combines the real world and the visual world of computer-generated (CG) images. The system makes possible the verification of product design and operability through three-dimensional CG images which reduces the number of prototypes needed during the development process and contributes to shortened development times. It has been very well received and is gaining interest from automobile manufacturers, home builders and heavy-equipment manufacturers, and is also being considered for training purposes.Strengthening New Businesses: DreamLaboThe DreamLabo is our commercial retail inkjet printer that offers high image quality and superior productivity through Canon's proprietary high-density print head technology. Through the DreamLabo, we aim to expand our presence in the retail photo industry,...