Sony, Microsoft to cooperate over AI-powered video analysis

20 May 2020 7:48 AM
Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp said Tuesday they will cooperate in video analytics using artificial intelligence technology for use in shops and factories, the first concrete project under their strategic partnership forged this past year.

Microsoft's Azure AI capacities will be embedded in image sensors developed by Sony's subsidiary Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp to permit customers to extract useful information from images captured by cameras and other devices.

The two businesses said advanced video analysis could uncover new earnings opportunities across industries, such as retailers detecting when to refill products on a shelf or locating the optimal number of open checkout counters according to the queue length.

Manufacturers might use the AI-powered video analysis to monitor movements of workers and identify hazards on the manufacturing floors in real time before injuries occur, they said.

Sony, a worldwide leader in image sensors, has been looking to expand their professional use beyond mainstay smartphone cameras.

"We will deliver a robust and convenient platform to the smart camera market. Through this platform, we desire to support the creative imagination of our partners and contribute to overcoming challenges in a variety of industries," said Terushi Shimizu, president of Sony Semiconductor Solutions, in a statement.

Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president at Microsoft echoed the view, saying, "Video analytics and smart cameras can drive better business insights and outcomes across a variety of scenarios for businesses."

In May this past year, Sony and Microsoft said they have formed a strategic partnership covering such areas as cloud-based gaming services and AI. The rare tie-up between two rivals in the overall game console market sometimes appears in an effort to counter Google LLC, which includes become a new gaming player with its Stadia game-streaming service.