Sony unveils AI-enabled smart camera sensors IMX500 and IMX501: Everything you need to know

The inbuilt Machine Learning could also help the camera to predict the number of visitors at a given time

Electronic conglomerate Sony corporation has added two new image sensors to its camera sensors portfolio. The latest sensors dubbed Sony IMX5000 and IMX5001 comes with tons of new features comparing to the existing camera modules in the market.

With releasing the new sensors, Sony claims both the sensors could offer a unique photography experience. Let's find out whether Sony's promises could live up to the mark?

Power of AI

Sony IMX500 use cases
Sony IMX500 use cases Sony

Both the IMX5000 and IMX5001 are the first camera sensors in the world which comes equipped with AI processing functionality. With the virtue of AI processing, the IMX5000 and IMX5001 could process the images faster by extracting the necessary processing data. The AI technology claims to offer faster image transmission between the device's physical storage and the cloud. Sony claims the sensors could also consume less power and provide better security while transmitting data.

The back-illuminated sensor comes with roughly 12.3 MP capacity on a wide-angle view. Sony has claimed to dedicate the logic chip bundled with the proprietary Digital Signs Processor (DSP) for AI processing and offering necessary memory required by the AI model. These changes would reduce the external memory consumption of the sensors and improve their processing speed.
Both the sensors could also offer high-speed AI processing on the logic chip to finish an entire process in a single video frame. Sony claims that this technology design can provide accurate precision, and track the subject in real-time while recording a video.

Real-life examples

Sony smart sensor IMX500
Sony unveils smart camera sensors IMX500 and IMX501 Sony

Sony has explained that the sensors could be able to handle basic machine learning jobs on its own. For instance, it can detect if something comes into your home backyard without sending any video to the cloud or other systems. Instead, it could send you some tiny metadata as an alert.

Sony has also explained that the camera sensors could offer immense help as a surveillance system. The inbuilt AI in the sensors can track and count the number of visitors in the subject frame. It can also detect, for instance, a person without musk and alert the security system. The inbuilt Machine Learning could also help the camera to predict the number of visitors at a given time.

Price and Availability

Sony IMX500
Sony IMX500 sensor Sony

Sony has already sent the IMX500 sensors to its partners. But the IMX5001 which is meant for the smart devices would be shipped in June 2020. The IMX500 sensor would cost 10000 JPY or SGD 133, while the IMX501 would be retailed at 20000 JPY or SGD 266.