In recent years Japan has been coming to grips with various challenges, such as a shrinking workforce and an increase in natural disasters driven by climate change. Digitalization and digital transformation (DX) are garnering attention as a way to address these issues, and the field of imaging analytics in particular is being seen as a means to improve productivity and enhance safety and security.
On April 7, 2022, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and Konica Minolta announced a strategic partnership that will see both companies collaborating in the field of AI- and IoT-powered video and image analysis. During the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023 (FY2022), SoftBank's AI video analysis platform “STAION” and Konica Minolta’s imaging IoT platform “FORXAI” will become interoperable. SoftBank’s STAION uses AI to analyze video data acquired by cameras and convert it into useful information for retailers and other businesses while Konica Minolta’s FORXAI combines imaging technology with cutting-edge IoT and AI technologies for applications that can be used in agriculture, medical care, nursing care, factory operations, retail marketing and other fields.
About SoftBank's AI video analysis platform STAION
Scheduled to launch in May 2022, SoftBank’s STAION service enables the integrated management and operation of AI video analysis devices. STAION connects AI video analysis devices and network cameras linked to the platform and can be used for various purposes such as improving business efficiency, productivity, workplace safety, marketing, and crime prevention. For example, by analyzing images captured at a retail store’s entrance, shelves and cash registers, better business decisions can be made about product placements, signage and staffing.
KONICA MINOLTA's imaging IoT platform "FORXAI"
The FORXAI imaging IoT platform achieves high-speed real-time AI processing by leveraging Konica Minolta’s proprietary image recognition technology in the fields of human behavior analysis, inspection, measurement, and diagnosis. To solve workflow issues at various types of businesses, FORXAI technology uses contactless and remote monitoring to make predictions through data accumulation and analysis.
Interconnecting platforms to further promote DX
By interconnecting SoftBank’s STAION and Konica Minolta’s FORXAI, corporate customers and partners will be able to seamlessly combine the best of the various AI models and devices used for each platform.
The collaboration will first address the fields of disaster prevention and smart cities. Using cameras and sensors, SoftBank and Konica Minolta will develop disaster prevention solutions that help ensure people’s safety and security, such as monitoring rivers and visualizing congestion at evacuation centers in the event of a disaster. Both companies are aiming to provide these solutions to local governments and other entities for implementation by the end of FY2022.
By combining their respective strengths, SoftBank and Konica Minolta aim to realize digital transformations using video and image analysis in a wide range of fields and contribute to solving Japan’s social issues.
(Posted on April 26, 2022)
by SoftBank News Editors