Sony and Microsoft team up on AI-powered cameras

They're embedding Microsoft Azure’s AI capabilities into Sony’s IMX500 image sensor.

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Sony and Microsoft are working on AI-powered cameras together. The two tech giants have announced that they’re embedding Microsoft Azure’s AI capabilities into Sony’s new image sensor, the IMX500, which comes with an onboard AI chip that processes information in real time. The chip could give cameras the power to count the number of people entering a store, for instance, or track item stock on shelves.

Sony will also build a companion app for the IMX500 that’s powered by Azure IoT. It will be designed to give customers access to video analytics capabilities and simplify their workflows.As you can guess, the companies’ AI-powered camera solution is meant for enterprise customers, in particular. They’re targeting both hardware manufacturers looking to add AI cameras to their offerings and independent software vendors specializing in computer vision and video analytics.

In a statement, Sony exec Terushi Shimizu explained the companies’ belief that “by linking Sony’s innovative imaging and sensing technology with Microsoft’s excellent cloud AI services, [they] will deliver a powerful and convenient platform to the smart camera market.”

This isn’t the first time the two tech giants have teamed up on an artificial intelligence project. Back in 2019, they joined forces to build cloud solutions for gaming and content streaming. Sony said it’ll even start using Microsoft’s data centers for its existing game and streaming platforms.

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