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Sony yesterday announced two new models of intelligent vision sensors (IMX500 and IMX501), the first image sensors in the world with AI processing functionality. Today, Microsoft and Sony announced a new partnership to make these AI-powered smart cameras more accessible to businesses around the world. As part of this partnership, Sony and Microsoft will embed Microsoft Azure AI capabilities on IMX500. Partners can also embed their own AI models. Also, Sony will create a smart camera managed app powered by Azure IoT and Cognitive Services.
Microsoft and Sony will also 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. Microsoft’s AI & IoT Insider Labs offer access and facilities to help build, develop, prototype and test customer solutions, working in partnership with Microsoft experts and other solution providers like Sony. The companies will begin working with select customers within these co-innovation centers later this year.
“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. Through this platform, we hope to support the creativity of our partners and contribute to overcoming challenges in various industries,” said Terushi Shimizu, Representative Director and President, Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation.
“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.”