HomeTechnologyArtificial intelligenceHow New Sony AI Chip Turns Video into Real-Time Retail Data

How New Sony AI Chip Turns Video into Real-Time Retail Data

Sony has been developing more than video game consoles lately. The semiconductor division has even been working on products designed to replace and/or reconfigure conventional IT stacks for a number of enterprises.

A good example of this is the latest product from the Fukushima, Japan-based chip maker called AITRIOSan edge-based AI detection platform first publicly demonstrated at the The big show of the National Retail Federation in New York, January 15-17.

Between a CPU and GPU

AITRIOS is a chip with a image sensor sandwiched between one Processor and a GPU that goes into an external smart camera and runs on Microsoft Azure. It takes on a slew of tasks that a dot product list currently needs to manage by taking images and instantly converting them into usable data.

Retail use cases for AITRIOS include providing real-time data on display shelf availability, planogram compliance, staffing, merchandising and store operations optimization. AITRIOS provides users with the tools, SDKsprivacy controls and development environment to collect all this data.

Another real-world example that impacts both HR policies and health regulations: a video clip of an employee washing hands in a sink can be made, determining whether he has washed for the full 20 seconds as directed by health codes, and archive and store data for future reference.

AI Predictions and Modeling

“AI people are trying to figure out how to collect physical world data in their AI predictions and modeling so that retailers, industrial people who work in manufacturing, use cases in the petroleum industry, factory automation, factory inspection, etc., have better analytical can get results, Mark Hansonvice president of technology and business innovation at Sony semiconductor, told The New Stack. “Many products in use today are legacy visual inspection, rule-based systems that are not AI-based. They’ve been trying to figure out how to do visual AI in a democratized way where other people who don’t necessarily have a Ph.D. in data sciences can actually implement some of those things.

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At the platform layer, AITRIOS enables a combination of device integration and deployment state. It also has the ability to create models from images captured on those devices and deploy and manage those models, Hanson said.

“The AITRIOS platform is below the application layer and the cloud layer,” said Hanson. “If you want to make the equivalent of this, you usually have to find a camera manufacturer and collect data on the use and field of view of those cameras. Then you would have to come up with the right algorithms to run on the smart camera or build a custom camera or on the edge servers to do that. You would need to upgrade the network infrastructure to accommodate all the video passing through here.

“We know the intimacy of the camera, the image sensor and the logic chip on it. We know how to manage them, how to deploy the devices through AITRIOS, and we can monitor the status and dynamically deploy models to those devices.”

All of this can be set to “set and forget,” Hanson said, thanks to the platform’s autonomous nature.


AITRIOS is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to U.S. partners and customers, Hanson said. A free version is available for testing here. Brighta maker of industrial cameras, is the first manufacturer to be sanctioned on the platform.

As part of AITRIOS’ global expansion to support system integrators working to build visual AI solutions, Sony Semiconductor Services also launched its Console Enterprise editiona paid service on the AITRIOS platform, in the US and Japan to meet the needs of various partners.

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