Wasabi AiR (c) 2024 WasabiWasabi has launched Wasabi AiR a new intelligent storage platform for the sports media and entertainment industries. This is the new name for the latest iteration of Curio, which Wasabi acquired from GreyMeta Inc. earlier this year.

Wasabi AiR combines high-performance, low-cost object storage with advanced AI metadata auto-tagging and multilingual searchable speech-to-text transcription. It will enable content creators, from journalists to marketers, to search for, locate and access what they need. There are no fees for the use of the AI intelligence. Customers merely pay for the storage they use.

Customers can upload videos quickly, where they are analysed and have metadata stored in a second-by-second index that enables users to identify snippets of video relevant to their searches. It will enable customers to find, access and monetise anything within the organisation’s video library.

The potential is huge, from identifying unintentional product placements to words used in dialogue. The indexing system will gather data in multiple ways, including:

  • facial recognition
  • searchable speech-to-text
  • multilingual translation
  • speaker recognition
  • optical text recognition
  • logo identification
  • sounds recognition

The main difference is that Wasabi are providing a complete solution, rather than just an AI capability. Dave McCarthy, Research Vice President at IDC, describes it by saying, “Wasabi AiR introduces a solution to a persistent 25-year-old challenge, combining AI-driven search capabilities with high-performance cloud storage.”

“This marks a transformative shift in media management, offering efficiency and accessibility for businesses dealing with massive unstructured data. Wasabi AiR represents a significant advancement in tackling the longstanding issue of managing extensive data archives, within a substantial market for intelligent media storage solutions.”

How Wasabi AiR Works

Wasabi AiR can ingest Video archives stored on film direct to the Wasabi hot cloud storage. There, Wasabi AiR analyses the data second by second and creates metadata that allows subsequent searches by users to quickly identify and surface snippets of video. The analysis is also interactive. For example, if the AI does not recognise a face, logo, word or image, users can provide the information and enable the AI to learn with a human in the loop.

Importantly, this allows media organisations to upload months and hours of video content for analysis. It means that formerly “Dead” content can become a source of revenue and user engagement. Wasabi highlights three use cases for the new solution. These include:

  • Post-production: Quickly find and assemble video for news packages, highlight reels, social media content and more in real-time to enable production teams to focus on creativity without being bogged down searching for content
  • Sponsorship and marketing ROI: Find logos for sponsorship attribution with ease for ROI analysis
  • Geo-diversity: Tailor content to specifically meet the requirements of geo-diverse audiences
David Friend, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wasabi Technologies, image credit - LinkedIn
David Friend, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wasabi Technologies

David Friend, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wasabi Technologies, commented, “Why move to the cloud if you still can’t find anything? Object storage without metadata is like a library without a catalog. Wasabi AiR works right out of the box and it’s as simple to use as popular search engines. For example, if it finds a face that it doesn’t recognise, it asks ‘Who is this?’ 

“Using a simple UI, the user can train their own models. You can have tens of thousands of hours of video, and Wasabi AiR will take you right to the moment you are looking for. And you can search as much as you want – we only charge for the storage.” 

Availability and price

Wasabi has made sure that this new solution has a price that makes sense for people to adopt. In recent times, organisations have aimed to maximise revenue from both AI and storage solutions. Wasabi has decided that as it can deliver both, it will keep the pricing related to the storage rather than the AI.

It is a sensible approach and should make customer retention easier. It is expensive to move storage provider and less expensive to move to a new AI tool. Wasabi AiR has capacity-based pricing without additional fees for the AI analysis, which does, after all, take up compute power. There are also no fees for data egress or API requests.

Wasabi believes that its pricing is up to 80% less than competitors. How long that advantage will be maintained is hard to say though. Wasabi AiR is available this quarter. It has also developed a cost calculator that identifies the savings it offers.

Importantly, in terms of compliance, Wasabi has ensured that AI is segmented so that each customer AI will only train on customer data, and the details will not be shared by others. This includes the source and metadata. Wasabi will never use the data and metadata to train other user’s models.

Wasabi also makes clear (though it does not appear to warrant) that files and metadata are secure and protected from ransomware, disasters or accidental deletions by Wasabi’s immutable storage and unique multi-user authentication.

Drew Crisp, Senior Vice-President of Digital at Liverpool Football Club. “Wasabi AiR significantly reduces our manual efforts due to its seamless use of AI recognition technology to identify, organise and categorise files. At the club we handle extensive media content, and so this enhanced efficiency could really help us to locate specific content quickly and accurately within our archive and create new content streams quickly, empowering our creativity and innovation.

“Wasabi AiR transcends mere storage; it will become another key to unlocking the full potential of our content.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

As AI becomes more and more sophisticated the use cases are growing. While Liverpool Football Club is beta testing Wasabi AiR for marketing purposes, could they uncover a further benefit? Could the system be used to provide training information with further analysis for football coaching.

Can the AI be trained to analyse games at a tactical level, either by formation or even an individual level? Liverpool and other premiership clubs are already using data and data analysis for football. Could this video analysis provide the next generation of tools?

If this first generation of AI search and storage can make a difference in media management, where else can it provide solutions to ongoing issues or highlight areas of concern? AI is changing the world around us, and Wasabi has created a combination that could make a significant difference both within the media and beyond.

A conversation with Wasabi



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