Sony's new AI-based video analytics hardware to help AV setups, films without humans

Sony's new AI-based video analytics hardware to help AV setups, films without humans
31 Jan, 2019

Japanese electronics company Sony Corp has come out with a new artificial intelligence-based hardware for cameras that makes human intervention unnecessary.

The REA-C1000 hardware module is an Edge Analytics solution, which means the data is collected and processed on the device itself instead of a centralised store or the cloud. The module acts like the brain of a video setup, drawing input from several cameras and producing output in the form of display content, a movie or acting as a recorder for post-production.

According to the company, the AI module comes in handy in various scenarios, such as to create a video film from a presentation and managing the display without human assistance. 

Sony said in a statement that the REA-C1000 Edge Analytics Appliance unit is compatible with its network cameras, and these can be connected to the software box to capture the live presentation. "The Edge Analytics box transmits the video images captured by the camera — straight to the display or recording device. This enables the in-built handwriting extraction technology to be used easily without any distraction to the presenter," it said.

The hardware module helps with the actual presentation control as well. Its precision features include handwriting extraction technology, Chromakey-less CG overlay and a virtual operator controller.

Sony claims that no matter where the speaker is located, the handwriting extraction feature ensures that any words and diagrams written on a board or screen remain in full view to the audience — via augmented reality. 

Even if the speaker is standing directly in front of the board, their ideas, thinking process, and even their animated presentation, are also made accessible to the audience. 

"It’s also easy for remote viewers and those playing back the presentation at a later date to become immersed in the content too, as the presenter is overlaid and the content is never compromised," the company said. 

The company also said that the Chromakey-less CG overlay feature enables a presenter to deliver impactful supporting content in real time without specialised content creators.

"Users can autonomously create specific animated imagery, still pictures, and supporting graphics, which provide an easy backdrop to their presentation," it said.

In terms of acting as a virtual operator, the AI module can accurately track a presenter to make sure that he or she stays in focus and within the frame throughout the presentation. "This feature offers users a cost-effective tracking solution in an education, corporate, or conference setting, without having to invest in a camera operator," Sony claimed.

Another interesting feature is focus area cropping. With this, Sony claims that an image from one camera can be simultaneously shown as two different output images. 

The module will be available for a free 60-day trial period. After this period, each feature can be activated permanently through separate licences.