Ignite 2021: Microsoft announces Azure Percept – AI technologies on the edge, simplified

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Microsoft has launched a new hardware and software platform called Azure Percept in the public preview today. The latest offering makes it easier for customers to develop and implement AI solutions for scenarios such as anomaly detections, object detection, shelf analytics, and more.

Azure Percept is an entire platform that aims to simplify the ways customers can enable AI capabilities at the edge. It seamlessly integrates with other Azure services, including Azure Machine Learning, Azure Live Video Analytics, Azure Cognitive Services, and more to provide vision and audio detailed insights to customers in real-time.

According to Microsoft, Azure Percept offers useful features like pre-built AI models and solution management for developing prototypes and an end-to-end edge AI platform. It also helps to protect sensitive and high-value assets of an edge AI solution with built-in security measures.

“We’ve started with the two most common AI workloads, vision and voice [and] sight and sound, and we’ve given out that blueprint so that manufacturers can take the basics of what we’ve started,” Microsoft VP Roanne Sones said today. “But they can envision it in any kind of responsible form factor to cover a pattern of the world.”

For starters, the Azure Percept platform comes with a couple of additional offerings, including a hardware development kit, Azure Percept Audio, and Azure Percept Studio. You can find more details about these tools below:

  • Azure Percept DK: A pilot-ready development kit with a carrier board, mounting tools, and Azure Percept Vision, a camera-enabled system on module (SoM) for rapid scenario-based customization.
  • Azure Percept Audio: A voice-enabled system on module (SoM) with a 4-mic linear array to apply custom commands, far field speech and anomaly detection.
  • Azure Percept Studio: A new experience that guides customers through the entire AI lifecycle, including developing, training and deploying proof-of-concept ideas.

Microsoft says that it is also collaborating with some third-party “silicon and equipment manufacturers” to develop an entire ecosystem of solutions that will run on the Azure Percept platform. In addition, the Azure Percept team is also working with select customers to gather some early feedback.

If you’re interested to learn more about the Azure Percept platform, be sure to check out the official blog post, and pricing details are available on this page.