REDMOND, Wash., and TOKYO — June 18, 2008 — Microsoft Co. Ltd. has reached an agreement with FAST Corp., based in Yamato, Kanagawa prefecture, for the licensing of digital camera calibration technology developed by Microsoft Research, the research arm of Microsoft Corp. Microsoft operates a successful global intellectual property (IP) licensing program for innovations and technologies developed by Microsoft Research’s six labs throughout the world. However, this is the first agreement of this nature in Japan. FAST aims to use the licensed technology to improve the precision of its various image-processing products and accelerate the development of new inspection systems and other products.
Microsoft also will provide development support to FAST through a program run by the Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) in Chofu, Tokyo. MIC provides comprehensive support to IT companies (software vendors, hardware vendors and systems integrators), universities and other educational and research facilities, and entrepreneurs dedicated to the development of new and innovative technology. The support takes the form of access to the large-scale development and testing facilities housed within the Microsoft Chofu Technology Center, where Microsoft develops its own products, and a wide range of development support programs.
As part of these activities, MIC supports Microsoft’s IP Licensing program, in which it licenses various Microsoft technologies and provides related technical support. The licenses include those for technology developed by Microsoft Research as well as for application programming interfaces (APIs), data formats, protocols, and other technical information used in the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products. Through these activities, companies and other organizations receiving support can expect to help reduce development costs and enhance the value of their products.
The agreement is another example of Microsoft’s continuing efforts to provide companies, startups and businesses around the world with access to cutting-edge technologies developed in Microsoft Research labs. This type of collaboration also adds value to a healthy IT ecosystem and helps create local economic development opportunities.
“We have high expectations that our agreement with Microsoft on the licensing of its IP related to digital camera calibration technology will prove to be of great use to us in developing our image-processing business,” said Masakatsu Makino, president of FAST.
“FAST is a specialist image-processing technology company that develops, manufactures and sells image-processing software, devices and systems,” Makino said. “The IP licensed from Microsoft is outstanding camera calibration technology for 3-D measurement and inspection systems utilizing 3-D measurement in production environments in which high practical precision and simple camera calibration operation processes are required. We plan to roll out distinctive image-processing products in the near future that incorporate this technology. As a company developing advanced technology to meet customer needs, we feel that Microsoft’s technology will bring many benefits.”
“As its licensing of this technology demonstrates, Microsoft is implementing a policy of providing a broad range of industries with access to its technology with the aim of contributing to the advance and growth of other industries and their technology,” Makino said. “We take our hats off to Microsoft for this admirable policy.”
“This agreement with FAST is an example of how Microsoft is committed to licensing its intellectual property portfolio to benefit customers and the IT ecosystem as a whole,” said Shunichi Kajisa, chief technology officer of Microsoft Co. Ltd. “Agreements like this allow companies around the world to access our rich research and development and patent portfolio and create cutting-edge technologies that benefit their value proposition to customers.
“FAST has long adopted new technology to create competitive products and drive its growth,” Kajisa said. “We feel honored that Microsoft technology will be incorporated into FAST’s products, and we are very grateful for the opportunity that FAST provided us to demonstrate how our technology can be applied to various fields. We hope to take our relationship beyond this agreement and continue to work together for our mutual growth.”