Sony and Microsoft Partner on Smart Cameras

June 10, 2020
To help industrial companies address the challenges that come with deploying and accessing video analytics and vision systems, Sony and Microsoft have begun collaborating to make these systems more accessible.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Microsoft have partnered to create products that make artificial intelligence (AI)-powered smart cameras and video analytics easier to deploy for end users across industries.

According to Sony, video analytics has emerged as a way for users across industries to uncover new revenue opportunities, streamline operations, and solve challenges. For example, a manufacturer might use a smart camera to identify hazards on its manufacturing floor in real time before injuries occur. Though this has been possible for years, this process has relied on gathering data distributed among many smart cameras, leaving users to figure out how to optimize the allocation of computing resources.

To help overcome this challenge, Microsoft Azure AI capabilities will be embedded into Sony’s IMX500 intelligent vision sensor, which extracts useful information out of images in smart cameras and other devices. Sony and Microsoft say this integration will result in smarter, more advanced cameras and more efficient allocation of resources between edge and cloud technologies to improve cost and power-consumption efficiencies.

Sony’s smart camera managed app powered by Azure is targeted toward independent software vendors (ISVs) specializing in computer vision and video analytics, as well as smart camera original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The app will reportedly complement the IMX500 sensor and serve as the foundation on which ISVs and OEMs can train AI models to create their own customer- and industry-specific video analytics and computer vision systems that address end user demands. The app will also enable end users to more easily find, train and deploy AI models for video analytics scenarios.

The two companies will also work together to facilitate co-innovation with partners and customers in the areas of computer vision and video analytics as part of Microsoft’s AI & IoT Insider Labs program. This program provides facilities to help build, develop, prototype, and test systems.

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