Microsoft and AT&T demonstrate 5G-powered video analytics


Written by Victor Bahl, Microsoft Technical Fellow and Chief Technology Officer, Azure for Operators


In November 2021, Microsoft and AT&T announced the launch of Azure public MEC (multi-access edge compute) with a site in Atlanta, Georgia. The Azure public MEC solution enables low-latency applications at the edge of the mobile operator’s network, providing Azure compute services integrated with 5G connectivity. Azure public MEC is designed to run AI and machine learning workloads that require intensive compute and low latency network. The access to these resources is over high-quality 5G connections from phones, smart cameras, IoT devices, and other equipment. Enterprises and developers can build and run these low-latency applications and manage their workloads using the same tools they are using to run applications in the Azure public cloud.


To light up new compelling applications with Azure public MEC that benefit from low latency 5G connectivity, we are making available a video analytics library under the umbrella of Edge Video Services.


Edge Video Services

Edge Video Services (EVS) is a Microsoft platform for developing video analytics solutions that can be deployed on Azure public MEC. For example, consider some smart city applications like our Vision Zero work with the City of Bellevue, which enabled a new generation of real-time traffic flows leading to substantial improvements in the day-to-day lives of commuters. Similarly, real-time video analytics can make cities safer by controlling traffic lights for situations such as allowing a person in a wheelchair to safely cross the street. A related application, which we demonstrated at Hannover Messe 2016, integrated an early version of EVS into traffic light cameras and those in self-driving cars to analyze videos to help reduce accidents and fatalities. Other new applications that are coming soon include improving transportation systems, monitoring air quality, street lighting, smart parking, crowd management, and emergency management. Beyond smart cities, EVS can provide modern smart enterprises with end-to-end experiences with video analytics for mixed reality as a natural component of 5G network solutions. Additional examples include managing machines and robots in connected factories, handling customer demands and services in retail stores and restaurants or tracking pedestrian traffic in sports arenas.


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