Software Subscription is Future for Data-analyzing Image Sensors : Sony

Sony, a Japanese multinational conglomerate corp’s image sensor arm is aiming to replicate PlayStation’s success. They will address reliance on smartphone manufacturers in the market: It plans to sell software by subscription for data-analyzing sensors in situ.

Tokyo based company will transform the light-converting chips into a software platform, similar to the PlayStation Plus video games service. This will amount to a sea of change for the $10 billion business.

After years of loss, in the volatile consumer electronics sector, these efforts chime its pursuit of recurring revenue. Analysts said that Success can serve as a rejoinder to an activist investor. Hideki Somemiya, Sony’s team head responsible for developing sensor applications, said “We have a solid position in the market for image sensors, which serve as a gateway for imaging data.”

Somemiya added, that analysis of such data with artificial intelligence (AI) “would form a market larger than the growth potential of the sensor market itself in terms of value,” in an interview. He pointed to the recurring nature of hardware-only business versus software-dependent data processing.

The company has developed the world’s first image sensor (what it calls) which integrates AI processor. Security cameras can be installed with the sensor and it can single out factory workers. For example, monitors those that are not wearing helmets or can be installed in vehicles to monitor driver drowsiness. Most importantly, the software can be replaced or modified wirelessly without any need to disturb the camera.

The Japanese company is hoping that its customers will subscribe to its sensor software service either through monthly fees or licensing. Something similar to how gamers buy a PlayStation console and then pay or subscribe to the online software service.

The company has not disclosed a starting date for the service yet. Last month, at a news conference, Somemiya said that there was the demand from retailers and factories, mainly business-to-business.