Sony and Microsoft release AI camera solution to make supermarket shelves smarter

At the 4th China International Import Expo held on November 5, Microsoft (China) Co., Ltd. and Sony semiconductor Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. announced that they will jointly launch a partner empowerment program to encourage qualified Chinese local independent software Suppliers, and system integrators partners innovate based on commercial AI camera solutions.

This solution can combine the world’s first image sensor with AI processing capabilities, the Sony IMX500 smart vision sensor, and the AI ​​capabilities of Microsoft Smart Cloud to realize edge AI processing. Prior to this, Microsoft and Sony also launched a joint innovation lab in China to provide partners and enterprise customers in the field of computer vision and video analytics with the support and services they need to build, develop, prototype and test solutions.

The first AI-processed image sensor based on Azure AI

According to Sony, the intelligent vision sensor IMX500 can perform high-speed AI processing on the sensor and output only semantic metadata information instead of image data, thereby reducing data traffic and solving privacy issues. By collaborating with Microsoft to embed Azure AI into sensors, it can provide diverse functions for general-purpose applications, such as real-time target tracking under high-speed AI processing, bringing smarter AI camera solutions to business scenarios, and enabling it at the edge and in the cloud. Allocate resources more efficiently between hours to improve cost and power efficiency.

In addition, Sony has created an AI camera hosting application based on Azure IoT and Cognitive Services, which not only improves the IMX500 sensor, but also expands the capabilities and scope of video analytics for partners and customers.

In addition, through this cooperation, the AI ​​camera solution will have the dual capabilities of Sony’s cutting-edge imaging and sensing technology, as well as Microsoft’s intelligent cloud technology and AI platform, which can have greater potential in commercial applications.

Users can create, select and upload AI models to sensors for complete customization of smart camera solutions, enabling customers across industries to uncover new revenue opportunities, simplify operations and solve challenges.

For example, retail businesses can use AI cameras to detect when shelves are being replenished or adjust the number of open checkouts based on customer queue lengths. In addition, using AI cameras, manufacturing companies can identify and identify dangerous situations in the workshop in real time to prevent problems before they occur. Traditionally, data collection for such applications has often relied on AI cameras distributed at sites such as stores, warehouses, and distribution centers. The allocation of computing resources is difficult to optimize, resulting in increased costs or energy consumption.

Bao Jiafeng, President of Microsoft China, said: “This partnership with Sony combines Microsoft’s expertise in trusted, enterprise-grade AI technologies and analytics solutions with Sony’s proven leadership in the imaging sensor market. We will work together to deepen the field of intelligent edge, further tap the potential of various industries, and explore unlimited opportunities for our customers and partners.”

Nobu Kimura, President of Sony Semiconductor Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., said: “Sony’s innovative imaging and sensing technologies combined with Microsoft’s excellent intelligent cloud and artificial intelligence services will lead to more powerful and efficient AI camera solutions. We believe that, The cooperation between Sony and Microsoft in the Chinese market will further strengthen our relationship with local partners and customers and help them further expand their business value.”

Further expansion of ecosystem scenarios

At the site of the CIIE, Microsoft and Sony launched a partner empowerment plan, recruiting through Microsoft AI and IoT Labs, attracting more excellent local ISV and SI partners to “enter” and jointly create a more diverse Industry Solutions. The launch of this plan will enrich the existing ecosystem, recruit excellent partners with rich domestic and overseas experience, sales and marketing resources in their dominant industries, and help them create solutions for different industry scenarios, while overcoming technological challenges While challenging, provide these partners with resources to go to market.

Hanshow Technology is a global certified partner of Microsoft and the first batch of partners to join the program. It has created solutions based on retail industry scenarios. By deploying smart cameras with various AI models, it can monitor product volume, passenger flow, Sales status. By integrating fixed-location cameras, it will generate a heat map of in-store customer trajectories, providing customers with more valuable data information and enhancing data insights, thereby increasing store sales.

Hou Shiguo, CEO of Hanshow Technology, said: “Hanshow has extensive experience in the global retail market. With the technical support of Microsoft and Sony, the process of joint innovation among the three parties has been accelerated, and it has also enabled us to better serve the rapid changes and diversification. of the pan-retail industry, helping customers gain more flexibility and more benefits.”

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