The partnership will enable Microsoft Azure AI capabilities to be embedded on Sony’s intelligent vision sensor IMX500, which extracts needed information from images in smart cameras and other devices.
“Video analytics and smart cameras can drive better business insights and outcomes across a wide range of scenarios for businesses,” said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president and commercial chief marketing officer at Microsoft.
“Through this partnership, we’re combining Microsoft’s expertise in providing trusted, enterprise-grade AI and analytics solutions with Sony’s established leadership in the imaging sensors market to help uncover new opportunities for our mutual customers and partners.”
As announced, Sony will also create a smart camera managed App powered by Azure IoT and Cognitive Services that complements the IMX500 sensor and expands the range and capability of video analytics. The new solution is targeted towards independent software vendors (ISVs) specializing in computer vision and video analytics solutions, as well as smart camera original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that intend to include these capabilities to their hardware offerings.
“By linking Sony’s innovative imaging and sensing technology with Microsoft’s excellent cloud AI services, we will deliver a powerful and convenient platform to the smart camera market,” said Terushi Shimizu, Representative Director and President, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation.
“Through this platform, we hope to support the creativity of our partners and contribute to overcoming challenges in various industries.”
According the partners, use cases for the collaborative solution include retailers using smart cameras to detect when to refill products on a shelf or to better understand the optimal number of available open checkout counters according to the queue length. Manufacturers might also use smart cameras to identify hazards on their manufacturing floor in real time before injuries occur.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft and Sony will further work together to facilitate hands-on co-innovation with partners and enterprise customers in the areas of computer vision and video analytics – as part of Microsoft’s AI & IoT Insider Labs program.