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Microsoft and Qualcomm debut their Vision AI Developer Kit

Microsoft Qualcomm vision AI developer kit

First announced at BUILD 2018, Microsoft and Qualcomm have debuted their Vision AI Developer Kit for building computer vision applications.

The kit is built on Qualcomm’s Vision Intelligence 300 Platform and can run AI models locally or in the cloud using Microsoft’s Azure ML and Azure IoT Edge platforms.

eInfochips manufactures the Vision AI Developer Kit which features both a camera and the software needed to develop intelligent computer vision apps.

The hardware runs Yocto Linux, uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 603 chip, has 4GB of LDDR4X memory, and 64GB of storage. The camera is 8-megapixel, records in 4K, and captures audio using an array of four microphones.

In terms of connectivity, the Vision AI Developer Kit features WiFi (802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz, 5GHz) and has an HDMI out, USB-C, Micro SD slot, and audio in/out ports.

An SDK combining Visual Studio Code, a module which can recognise in excess of 183 unique objects, prebuilt Azure IoT deployment configurations, Python modules, and a Vision AI Developer kit extension for Visual Studio is available on GitHub.

Microsoft claims vision models can be deployed in minutes ”regardless of your current machine learning skill level”.

In a blog post, Microsoft principal project manager Anne Yang wrote:

“Artificial intelligence workloads include megabytes of data and potentially billions of calculations. With advancements in hardware, it is now possible to run time-sensitive AI workloads on the edge while also sending outputs to the cloud for downstream applications.

AI scenarios processed on the edge can facilitate important business scenarios, such as verifying if every person on a construction site is wearing a hardhat, or detecting whether items are out-of-stock on a store shelf.”

According to Yang, the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine — which features in Qualcomm’s Vision Intelligence 300 platform — powers on-device execution of containerised Azure services. This capability makes the Vision AI Developer Kit the first “fully accelerated” platform supported end-to-end by Azure.

The Vision AI Developer Kit is available now for $249 from Arrow Electronics.

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