Embracing the Cloud for the Internet of Things
The pace at which the world is changing has never been faster than it is today. In the last decade, we have witnessed how mobile and big data are contributing to the next technology revolution: the Internet of Things (IoT). There is a lot of hype around IoT. Is it just that, hype? We want to welcome you to the Internet of Things on AWS Official Blog where we will answer questions about IoT, its thought leaders, and how you can deploy IoT solutions in the cloud.
Telecom operators are deploying vast data networks, which enable ubiquitous connectivity, while the cost of sensors that can sense the world around us (GPS, gyro, temperature, and so on) is declining to affordable levels. Cloud providers have made storage and compute virtually limitless with on-demand, scalable infrastructure that meets the demands of big data manipulation. With more data, machine learning algorithms and models now predict outcomes or identify patterns more precisely, driving autonomous decisions in the real world. Combined, these ingredients enable IoT.
IoT is a term coined by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer working on radio-frequency identification (RFID) who conceived a system of ubiquitous sensors connecting the physical world to the Internet. Although things, Internet, and connectivity are the three core components of IoT, the value is in closing the gap between the physical and digital world in self-reinforcing and self-improving systems.
Placing sensors in remote locations and analyzing enormous data sets give us context and insight into IoT use cases: Measuring vibrations from wind turbine blades and performing real-time analysis to determine maintenance needs before the blades fail. Reducing energy consumption in buildings by controlling lighting on floors where no one is present. Adjusting window shades automatically to regulate temperature and reduce load on HVAC systems. Creating self-driving vehicles that process environmental information to make split-second decisions to stop and avoid accidents. The collective knowledge about the physical world, gained through IoT, becomes the input for more efficiency, new business models, lower pollution, and better health.
Many customers have architected their solutions on AWS. Sonos analyzes audio data and optimizes the output of speakers based on your room acoustics. BMW streams video data from cars to better inform drivers of road conditions. Shokbox monitors impacts on an ice hockey player’s helmet to predict concussion. These incredible applications are possible because of the security and scale provided by the cloud. Until now, though, those customers have had to build each component of their IoT solutions themselves. With AWS IoT, a purpose-built service for connected devices (constrained devices, in particular) customers can focus on what makes their products and solutions better, rather than the plumbing underneath them.
Every IoT project requires secure transport of data to and from devices over the Internet to a cloud endpoint. The endpoint must be highly scalable, capable of filtering out noise, enriching, transforming, and transferring data to storage or back-end systems for consumption by applications. AWS IoT is a managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. AWS IoT can support billions of devices and trillions of messages. It can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and other devices reliably and securely. With AWS IoT, your applications can keep track of and communicate with all your devices, all the time, even when they aren’t connected.
When AWS IoT was released in December 2015, it included:
- C and Node.js SDKs.
- A message broker that supports MQTT and HTTP.
- A security layer using X.509 certificates for mutual authentication of cloud and devices and TLS 1.2 for end-to-end encryption.
- A rules engine to filter, enrich, and route data to back-end services like Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Kinesis, AWS Lambda, and more.
- A device registry service to store device metadata.
- A Device Shadows service, which allows interaction between applications and devices even when the devices are not connected.
Since the launch, AWS IoT has listened to customer feedback and released these new features:
- SDKs for iOS and Android.
- Support for MQTT over the WebSocket protocol to stream data to a browser.
- The ability to use your own certificates, rather than those generated by AWS, to enable authentication of your devices.
- Integration with Amazon Machine Learning (Amazon ML) to apply smart models to the data flowing through AWS IoT.
AWS IoT is available in these regions: US East (Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), EU (Dublin), EU (Frankfurt).
To learn more about strategies for developing IoT solutions for the cloud, download our whitepaper Core Tenets of IoT.
These are exciting times. It is still Day 1, we hope this blog will help you discover more about the Internet of Things and AWS IoT. We look forward to your feedback!