Microsoft buys vision system vendor Orions Systems


Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has acquired Snoqualmie, Wash.-based Orions Systems for an undisclosed amount. Orions Systems makes AI-powered vision systems, and its founder, Nils Lahr, has worked on imaging, content distribution network (CDN), and streaming media services. 

“Orions Systems has developed a strong reputation and leading technology for organizations seeking to gather and analyze high-value data specifically in the areas of video and image content. The acquisition will bring additional technologies that will allow solutions like Dynamics 365 Connected Store and the Microsoft Power Platform to offer retailers and other organizations a way to build and train their own AI models to customize and optimize how they can learn from their physical space. This extra set of tools will deliver on scenarios beyond what is offered out-of-the-box today and can adapt to the truly unique dimensions and needs of their physical spaces,” said Microsoft Dynamics 365 Corporate Vice President Muhammad Alam in a July 7 blog post announcing the deal.

The Dynamics 365 Connected Store, which Microsoft announced in 2019, is an app meant to provide a holistic view and more insights into what’s happening inside a physical store location, which will allow customers to take proactive action. The Dynamics 365 Connected Store app is part of Microsoft’s overall retail/e-commerce offering, which also includes Dynamics 365 Commerce (the replacement for Dynamics 365 Retail). The Connected Store app uses computer vision and IoT sensors so that it can help customers understand physical spaces better and optimize their operations around those spaces. 

Power Platform is a collection of low-code/no-code tools and business intelligence services. It encompasses Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI.

Orion Systems’ technology provides machine teaching capabilities, which can adapt to running on a single device or a large, distributed edge-to-cloud network, Alam blogged. It will help users make sense of observational data collected in their stores. Orions AI City product enables public and private enterprises to collect and analyze data in video and image content, according to Orions’ site.