Canon reinvents Digital Photo Experience with launch of new European Portal

CANON iMAGE GATEWAY enables users to create and share a global online photo album and download images, text and sound to personalise their camera Unique online community empowers Canon camera users to reach new levels of customisation and to ‘future-proof’ their products and solutions – a vital part of Canon Europe’s online strategy.

CeBIT, Germany - Canon Europe, leading provider of imaging and information technology solutions, is expanding the creative possibilities of the digital world with the launch of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY(http://www.cig.canon-europe.com), an innovative new online imaging and photography portal for Canon digital camera users.

This unique portal introduces Canon customers to new and exciting ways to create, share and enjoy photographs online with friends and family across the world and enhance their own digital photography experience by personalising their cameras with downloadable images, texts and sounds.

Using the My Camera function of the portal, members can download software containing themed sounds and images from funky abstract art to beautiful nature shots - to personalise their digital cameras. CANON iMAGE GATEWAY also enables users to upload photos directly from their camera for use in personalised, individual albums themed around special events such as weddings, holidays and birthdays. These images, along with various sounds and captions, can be stored on the site using the 100 free megabytes of storage capacity each new member receives on registration. 

By the end of 2003, Canon will enable users to share their photographs with selected recipients in a variety of formats including photo albums, screen savers, E-cards and slide shows.  Further developments planned include the upload, storage and sharing of movie clips, offering users even more exciting and interactive ways to share and enjoy their digital photography.

CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is a total consumer package which extends Canons customer service far beyond the point of sale and offers an invaluable extension to the functionality of Canon digital cameras.  Having developed state-of-the-art imaging products and tailored software, in the form of ZoomBrowser EX (for Windows users) and ImageBrowser (for Mac), CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is a revolutionary concept that mirrors Canons crucial online strategy - to future-proof its products and provide Canon customers with the missing link between the camera and the internet.

The CANON iMAGE GATEWAY strongly supports the You Can philosophy, which enables people to realise their personal creative ambitions and potential through the use of digital technology.  Canon envisages one of the most popular features of the portal will be the function which enables members to create an online photo gallery by inviting anyone they choose to log-in and view their personal selection of images.

Online Photo Printing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
From mid-2003, Canon will begin a staggered roll-out of its online photo printing service across Europe, enabling members to order quality photo prints via the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This localised mail order service will be delivered in association with hand-picked Canon printing partners in each country.

Christiaan Holman, Manager CCI - New Media at Canon Europe, said: At Canon, we believe that our customers should get more from their cameras than simply high quality photographs and prints. The CANON iMAGE GATEWAY further expands the possibilities of the digital world and helps us meet the burgeoning demand of our customers for more interaction, more functionality and more individuality.  CANON iMAGE GATEWAY creates a community of enthusiasts that embraces everyone from professionals to aspiring amateurs, and allows them to share their passion for imaging in a creative, trusted environment.

The CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is also Canon Europes first step to achieving an online global customer relationship management (CRM) system. The site will be used as a test-bed to monitor and analyse digital camera use and product ownership patterns to help Canon better understand what functions and features are preferred by Canon customers. This valuable feedback will be relayed to the Canon Europe R&D team so they can continue to produce state-of-the-art digital products and solutions that meet customer needs and exceed their expectations.

CANON iMAGE GATEWAY has now been launched in fifteen European countries; UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and Italy; where Canon digital camera users will be encouraged to create, share and enjoy digital photography across the innovative online portal.

Registration for the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is through ZoomBrowser EX (for Windows users) or ImageBrowser (for Mac). The software is provided with all CANON iMAGE GATEWAY compatible PowerShot digital cameras.  After registration, members can either log in through their camera software or the Web browser to make use of the services offered by the portal.


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