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Sony Semiconductor Solutions and Microsoft partner to create smart camera solutions for enterprise customers – Stories

Companies collaborate to make video analytics solutions more accessible in order to drive better business outcomes

TOKYO — May 19, 2020 — Sony Semiconductor Solutions (Sony) and Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) today announced they are partnering to create solutions that make AI-powered smart cameras and video analytics easier to access and deploy for their mutual customers.

Sony logoAs a result of the partnership, the companies will embed Microsoft Azure AI capabilities on Sony’s intelligent vision sensor IMX500, which extracts useful information out of images in smart cameras and other devices. Sony will also create a smart camera managed app powered by Azure IoT and Cognitive Services that complements the IMX500 sensor and expands the range and capability of video analytics opportunities for enterprise customers. The combination of these two solutions will bring together Sony’s cutting-edge imaging & sensing technologies, including the unique functionality of high-speed edge AI processing, with Microsoft’s cloud expertise and AI platform to uncover new video analytics opportunities for customers and partners across a variety of industries.

“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.”

Video analytics has emerged as a way for enterprise customers across industries to uncover new revenue opportunities, streamline operations and solve challenges. For example, retailers can use smart cameras to detect when to refill products on a shelf or to better understand the optimal number of available open checkout counters according to the queue length. Additionally, a manufacturer might use a smart camera to identify hazards on its manufacturing floor in real time before injuries occur. Traditionally, however, such applications — which rely on gathering data distributed among many smart cameras across different sites like stores, warehouses and distribution centers — struggle to optimize the allocation of compute resources, resulting in cost or power consumption increases.

To address these challenges, Sony and Microsoft will partner to simplify access to computer vision solutions by embedding Azure AI technology from Microsoft into Sony’s intelligent vision sensor IMX500 as well as enabling partners to embed their own AI models. This integration will result in smarter, more advanced cameras for use in enterprise scenarios as well as a more efficient allocation of resources between the edge and the cloud to drive cost and power consumption efficiencies.

Sony’s smart camera managed app powered by Azure is targeted toward independent software vendors (ISVs) specializing in computer vision and video analytics solutions, as well as smart camera original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) aspiring to add value to their hardware offerings. The app will complement the IMX500 sensor and will serve as the foundation on which ISVs and OEMs can train AI models to create their own customer- and industry-specific video analytics and computer vision solutions that address enterprise customer demands. The app will simplify key workflows and take reasonable security measures designed to protect data privacy and security, allowing ISVs to spend less time on routine, low-value integration and provisioning work and more time on creating unique solutions to meet customers’ demands. It will also enable enterprise customers to more easily find, train and deploy AI models for video analytics scenarios.

As part of the partnership, 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.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Sony Semiconductor Solutions

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation is the global leader in image sensors. We strive to provide advanced imaging technologies that bring greater convenience and joy to people’s lives. In addition, we also work to develop and bring to market new kinds of sensing technologies with the aim of offering various solutions that will take the visual and recognition capabilities of both human and machines to greater heights. For more information, please visit: https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/e/

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Microsoft

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Sony

Sony Corporate Communications, [email protected]

 

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Alteryx analytics platform focuses on ease of use

In its effort to make data analysis accessible to data consumers of all levels, ease of use is a key tenet of the Alteryx analytics platform.

Alteryx, founded as SRC LLC in 1997 and based in Irvine, Calif., provides a suite of four tools designed for both data scientists and data analysts to manage and interpret data. Included in the Alteryx analytics platform are Alteryx Connect, Alteryx Designer, Alteryx Promote and Alteryx Server.

The vendor’s most recent update was Alteryx 2019.3, which was released in October. Alteryx 2019.4 is scheduled for release in December.

The October release included more than 25 new and upgraded features, with ease of use at the core of many, according to Ashley Kramer, senior vice president of product management at Alteryx.

Among them are features to help reduce the number of clicks it takes to get to the point of visualizing data to make analytic decisions. Data Profiling enables the user to visualize their data as they work with it, and Alteryx introduced a way to work with data in an Excel-like format at the bottom of the screen as well.

“What we focused on in 2019.3 are really features we call You Features, which are features the customers had been asking for,” Kramer said. “Some were features people probably didn’t even notice, but some were those ones that people discover and call us crying, ‘Thank you,’ because it makes [them more efficient] as they’re building out their workloads.”

The December update to the Alteryx analytics platform will again center around ease of use, with an enhanced mapping tool part of the upgrade.

The analytic process from data input through analysis is displayed on an Alteryx Design dashboard.
An Alteryx Design dashboard shows the analytic workflow from data input through analysis.

Another piece will be low-code and no-code modeling assistance for developers.

“Alteryx has done a good job riding the market trends,” said Dave Menninger, analyst at Ventana Research. “They rode the data preparation wave to fuel their IPO and now they are riding the [augmented intelligence/machine learning] wave. The company remains focused on the needs of their customers, [and that] has enabled them to succeed despite some areas of the product that are not quite as modern as some of their competitors.”

He added that ease of use is a strength of the Alteryx analytics platform, with the qualifier that Alteryx has traditionally been aimed at users with a high degree of data literacy.

Alteryx is easy to use for the personas they target — data-literate analysts preparing data for others and analyzing it for themselves.
Dave MenningerAnalyst, Ventana Research

“Alteryx is easy to use for the personas they target — data-literate analysts preparing data for others and analyzing it for themselves,” Menninger said. “They are not a general-purpose BI tool.”

That said, Alteryx is looking to make its product more accessible to citizen data scientists.

The vendor has a partnership with Tableau, for example, and the Alteryx analytics platform can be used in concert with Tableau or any other vendor’s business intelligence tools. In addition, Alteryx, like other vendors in the analytics industry, is focused on increasing data literacy as data analysis becomes a greater part of everyday business.

A particular focus for Alteryx, as evidenced by the low-code and no-code modeling assistance that will be included in the December release, are tools to aid developers.

Looker included a kit for developers in its most recent update, and Yellowfin followed suit with its own set of developer tools in its November release.

“We now have in beta what we’re calling Assisted Modeling, which is basically a guided utility to walk the analyst who doesn’t have any coding skills through the model-building process,” Kramer said. “They have a data problem, they want to do something like predict, but they don’t know what kind of model they want — they might not even know they need a model — so they can use this and we’ll walk them through.”

Alteryx’s intent in two recent acquisitions — ClearStory Data in April and Feature Labs in October — was to speed up the process of making the development process more accessible to those without information technology backgrounds.

“They are making the data preparation tasks more interactive with the ability to visualize the data at various steps in the process,” Menninger said. “With the acquisition of ClearStory Data earlier this year, they can provide data profiling and automatically infer relationships in the data.”

Feature Labs, meanwhile, helps designers add AI and machine learning capabilities.

“There are many tedious and time-consuming steps to creating AI/ML models,” Menninger said. “If you can automate some of those steps, you can produce more accurate models because you can explore more alternatives and you can produce more models because you’ve saved time via the automation.”

The Alteryx analytics platform will continue to focus on ease of use, with cloud migration and AI features such as recommendations and guided experiences part of the roadmap, according to the vendor.

“Organizations are trying to be data-centric and build an organization based on analytics,” said Zak Matthews, Alteryx’s sales engineering manager, “and that’s hard to do if the tools aren’t easy to use.”

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RADWIN and Microsoft announce strategic partnership to deliver innovative TV White Space solutions | Stories

The partnership will help make broadband more affordable and accessible for underserved and unserved customers in the rural U.S. and around the world

REDMOND, Wash. — July 2, 2018 — On Monday, RADWIN and Microsoft Corp. announced a new strategic partnership to address the rural broadband gap. RADWIN, a world leader in delivering high-performance broadband wireless access solutions, will be developing and introducing to the market TV White Space solutions to deliver broadband internet to unserved communities. Focused on introducing innovative technologies into the TV White Space market, the partnership will expand the TV White Space ecosystem, making broadband more affordable and accessible for customers in the rural U.S. and around the world. This partnership is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to expand broadband coverage using a mixture of technologies including TV White Space.

Broadband is a vital part of 21st century infrastructure. Yet, only about half of the world’s population is connected to the internet. New cloud services and other technologies make broadband connectivity a necessity to starting and growing small businesses and taking advantage of advances in agriculture, telemedicine and education. According to findings by the Boston Consulting Group, a connectivity model that uses a combination of technologies, including TV White Space, can reduce the cost of extending broadband coverage in rural communities. TV White Space is an important part of the solution, creating broadband connections in UHF bands and enabling communication in challenging rural terrains and highly vegetated areas, all while protecting broadcasters and other licensees from harmful interference.

“The TV White Space radio ecosystem is rapidly growing, and we are excited to work with RADWIN to bring innovative technologies to market at a global scale,” said Paul Garnett, senior director of the Microsoft Airband Initiative. “Our partnership with RADWIN, a recognized global leader in fixed wireless broadband access, will help address the rural broadband gap for residents and businesses, enabling farmers, healthcare professionals, educators, business leaders and others to fully participate in the digital economy.”

“RADWIN is a leading provider of broadband access solutions, enabling service providers globally to connect unserved and underserved homes and businesses,” said Sharon Sher, RADWIN’s president and CEO. “We are therefore very excited to be Microsoft’s partner in leading a global effort to connect rural communities and grow the TVWS ecosystem in the U.S. and around the world. The addition of innovative TV White Space solutions to RADWIN’s portfolio, which complements our sub-6GHz and mmWave fixed wireless offering, would enable our service provider customers and partners to extend their footprint by connecting more remote subscribers in challenging deployment use cases, penetrating through terrain obstructions and vegetation, and therefore helping to close the digital divide.”

In addition to the partnerships with companies like RADWIN, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative invests in partnerships with internet service providers (ISPs) and other telecommunications companies, introduces innovative solutions for rural connectivity, and provides digital skills training for people in newly connected communities. RADWIN and Microsoft will be introducing the innovative TV White Space solutions to these Airband Initiative partners, as well as to the global telecommunications industry, during the second half of 2019.

About RADWIN

RADWIN is a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions. Deployed in over 150 countries, RADWIN’s solutions power applications including fixed wireless access, backhaul, private network connectivity, video surveillance transmission as well as delivering broadband on the move for trains, vehicles and vessels. RADWIN’s solutions are adopted and deployed by tier 1 service providers globally as well as by large corporations.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, +1 (425) 638-7777,

[email protected]

RADWIN Media Contact, Tammy Levy, Marketing Communications Manager, +972-3-766-2916, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Meet Microsoft News: A new way to stay informed across the Web, Windows 10, iOS and Android – Windows Experience Blog

Our mission for more than two decades has been to keep you informed in an easily accessible, comprehensive and trustworthy way. Today, we share the next step in our evolution.

Microsoft has been in the news business for more than 23 years. When we launched MSN in 1995, the news industry was just beginning to provide content online. The period that followed was one of dramatic change and reinvention, forcing news organizations to re-think their programming and business strategies. We changed, too, from a feature of Windows 95 to a network of web and app experiences that now reaches nearly half a billion people in more than 140 countries and 28 languages. As we’ve evolved, our central mission has remained the same: to keep our audience informed in an easily accessible, comprehensive and trustworthy way.

Today, we’re excited to share the next step in our evolution – Microsoft News.

Microsoft News Editors at Mexico City Editorial Hub

Microsoft News Editors at Mexico City Editorial Hub

What is Microsoft News? 

Microsoft News is the new name for our news engine that powers familiar sites like MSN.com, and our newly redesigned Microsoft News app for iOS and Android. Microsoft News also powers news on Microsoft Edge, the News app in Windows 10, Skype, Xbox and Outlook.com.

Microsoft News represents the ways we keep people informed across the web, phone and PC, using our long-tested approach of curating news via publishing partnerships, human editors, and AI. We work with more than a thousand premium publishers and more than 3,000 brands in all major global markets – like USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, Die Welt, El País, BBC News, Kyodo News, and many more – to aggregate the best news, videos, photos and other content and deliver it, for free, to people all over the world.

MSN, powered by Microsoft News

MSN, powered by Microsoft News

Microsoft News makes it easy for you to personalize your news experience, including prioritizing your favorite topics on MSN.com or selecting interests to follow in your news feed on the Microsoft Edge Start page and our apps on Windows 10, iOS and Android, so you can quickly get to the information you want most when and where you want it. We also enable our many publishing partners to connect with new audiences and earn money for their content at a time when that is crucial to the survival of the industry – so they can continue to invest in high-quality, credible journalism.

Microsoft News for iOS and Android

You can experience the best of what Microsoft News has to offer in our newly redesigned Microsoft News app for iOS and Android, available today. The app makes it easy to get news wherever you are, focused on the topics you care about most – like having your own portable newsroom.

Microsoft News app for Android – dark theme

Microsoft News app for Android – dark theme

The app has been completely redesigned into a modern and beautiful experience tailored to iOS and Android devices. Here are some of our favorite new features:

  • New personalization upgrades, including the ability to tailor interests to follow in your news feed – such as World News, Personal Finance, Fitness and many more – and to roam interests across devices and local news options for top cities
  • Easy to configure breaking news alerts
  • A new dark theme, enabling better night reading
  • Simplified access through seamless integration with iOS and Android widgets
  • Continuous reading, for a smooth content experience

Get the app now.

Supporting the publishing ecosystem and quality journalism

We know we can’t do it alone. We may have decades of news experience under our belt but there are many institutions that have been at it much, much longer. These institutions have defined what we think of as quality journalism through years of essential reporting.

We believe that a free, well-funded press is a critical part of our social fabric and are proud to partner with the world’s best news brands, offering a business model that gives people access, at no-cost, to trustworthy news and provides a sustainable source of revenue for publishers. In just the past four years we’ve delivered more than $600 million back to our publishers, enabling them to focus on what they do best: quality journalism.

“Microsoft has been a great partner over the last several years, working closely with our newsroom and collaborating as they consider new features and services. We appreciate partners like Microsoft who value trusted reporting and seek ways to elevate and share premium journalism to millions of readers who are looking for information from a reliable source.”

— Maribel Wadsworth, publisher of USA TODAY and president, USA TODAY NETWORK

“Microsoft is a great partner for us because it offers both impressive reach and a well-earned reputation as a trusted source of news.”

— Rich Kennedy, SVP of Business Development, Business Insider

“We are very happy that Microsoft is investing further in highlighting valuable and trusted sources of news. The launch of Microsoft News is another positive proof point of publisher-platform relationships strengthening and we look forward to seeing what’s to come.”

— Matt Dornic, VP for Communications and Digital Partnerships, CNN

“Microsoft has been a valued partner in delivering CBSN’s live, 24/7 news coverage and analysis to an expansive audience that’s hungry for quality news and information. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”

— Christy Tanner, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS News Digital

“MSN delivers premium content at scale and high ad viewability that truly performs for our advertisers.”

— Jeff Lucas, Head of Americas Sales and Global Teams, Oath

“As part of our strategic partnership with Microsoft, Taboola powers content recommendations across Microsoft’s consumer properties in 55 markets and localized for 22 languages. We work together to create highly personalized experiences for consumers, drive engagement, monetization, increase awareness for Microsoft’s internal promotions and enable audience growth. We have seen in our three years of partnership that Microsoft audiences are incredibly valuable. When looking at Microsoft News users discovering content, as opposed to people coming from social or search, they engage 2-3x more, and in many ways are ‘super users’.”

— Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO, Taboola

Curated news by editors

Every day, our publishing partners send us more than 100,000 unique pieces of content.  Our AI scans the content as it arrives, processes it to understand dimensions like freshness, category, topic type, opinion content and potential popularity and then presents it for our editors. Our algorithms suggest appropriate photos to pair with content to help bring stories to life. Editors then curate the top stories throughout the day, across a variety of topics, so our readers get the latest news from the best sources.

This curation process is global, using editors with local expertise. Today, there are more than 800 editors working from 50 locations around the world – including editorial newsrooms serving multiple regions in India, Germany, France, Mexico, Canada and Spain. Many of our editors have extensive backgrounds in media and journalism and have worked at a variety of news organizations including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Globe and Mail, Newsday, NBCSports.com, Seattle Times, Asahi Shimbun and Associated Press.

Microsoft News Editors at Delhi Media Center

Microsoft News Editors at Delhi Media Center

Diversity, in our newsroom and in the publishers we partner with, is a key ingredient of the Microsoft News experience. We carefully compose our pages every day to present multiple sides of a story and consciously curate a wide variety of opinion pieces so that our readers can explore issues via new and different perspectives. We believe thoughtful opinion pieces—which we clearly mark as such—help readers better understand the news. With that goal in mind, we’re always assessing our network of partners to ensure that we provide the most diverse, credible and well-rounded content available.

At Microsoft News, we’re constantly refining and improving our experiences to continue to serve the needs of people and partners around the globe. We hope you will visit MSN.com, the Microsoft Edge Start page and give the new app a try!

Updated June 20, 2018 11:47 am