Sony prepares subscription service for AI product developers

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TOKYO – The Sony Group will begin offering subscriptions to artificial intelligence development tools, as part of the Japanese company’s desire to rely more on recurring revenue and less on hardware sales.

The conglomerate announced on Wednesday that it is preparing to launch its Aitrios AI detection platform later this year in Japan, the United States and Europe. The platform, which uses Sony’s advanced sensor expertise, is intended to help companies streamline the development and implementation of detection solutions.

A subscription gives the customer access to a workspace, including software development tools and kits, as well as a marketplace where developers can register their AI and applications and make them available to them. other developers elsewhere.

Sony says companies working on prototype AI products can shorten their development time by using reference designs provided by Aitrios.

The electronics and entertainment conglomerate is counting on the platform to attract developers working on AI for cameras, application developers who use AI as well as camera manufacturers and module integrators who develop AI cameras. The company said retailers, smart city developers and smart factory operators have shown interest in the service.

The platform uses Sony’s AI-enabled IMX500 intelligent vision sensor, which enables cutting-edge AI processing at high speed and extracts minimal data, making it easier for solution providers to manage data.

The high-quality AI image sensor will also reduce the need to rely solely on cloud systems. The IMX500 chip can control the data volume and therefore is able to reduce transmission latency and power consumption. It can also alleviate privacy concerns related to the use of cloud services.

Eita Yanagisawa, senior general manager of a division of Sony Semiconductor Solutions, said the intention is for the platform to eventually be “compatible not only with the IMX500 but also with a diverse range of sensors supplied by Sony.” .

In recent years, image sensors have become a key business segment for Sony. However, shipments of image sensors for smartphones to Huawei Technologies have declined due to the trade war between the United States and China, prompting the conglomerate to accelerate its search for recurring revenue sources.

The company has been able to generate stable game sales by introducing subscription services and has come to rely less on physical hardware sales. PlayStation Plus, which generates monthly subscription revenue by providing access to online multiplayer games, has over 46 million members.

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