What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things connects the physical world to the Internet so that you can use data from devices to increase productivity and efficiency. Connecting things to the Internet is possible because different connectivity options are widely available, the cost of connecting is declining, and more devices are capturing data. All kinds of things are being used in IoT applications including consumer products such as refrigerators, security cameras, and cable set-top boxes; industrial systems such as conveyor belts and manufacturing equipment; and commercial devices such as traffic signals and smart meters. Any device that can be powered on could be part of an IoT application.
Consumers expect everything in their home, everything they drive, and even what they wear to have IoT capabilities. For example, Rotimatic, a smart, fully automated flatbread-making device, uses AWS IoT to securely transfer data to and from the cloud. Using data from the Rotimatic, the manufacturer gets better visibility into usage and part health to improve their product and the customer experience.
Industrial companies use IoT applications to make industrial equipment and processes smarter and safer. For example, Centratech Systems was seeking to reduce the time technicians spend driving around to physically maintain devices such as water pumps and electricity meters. Using AWS IoT, they increased productivity of field technicians by 50%.
How does the Internet of Things work?
The Internet of Things was 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. Today, the Internet of Things connects physical devices embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators to the cloud and to each other. Devices communicate through different protocols and many, such as MQTT, were designed to tolerate intermittent connections and reduce network bandwidth requirements. All IoT communication must be secured using preventive security mechanisms and best practices, like device identity management, encryption, and access control as well as device auditing and monitoring. Although connected things, the Internet, and secure connectivity are required to create IoT applications, the value is in closing the gap between the physical and digital world in self-reinforcing and self-improving systems.
If you knew the state of every thing in the world, and could reason on top of the data: What problems would you solve?
See the AWS IoT customer case studies to learn how customers are solving problems with AWS IoT applications.
Why is the Internet of Things important?
The Internet of Things is important because it makes previously unusable data available. IoT applications tap into device data and let you visualize, explore, and build sophisticated analytics such as machine learning in the cloud. IoT applications can also run on devices so they can respond in real-time as events unfold. For example, a predictive model for scene detection analysis could run on a security camera and, when the camera sees suspicious activity, it could send an alert.
IoT applications are deployed across a wide range of use cases including connected homes, connected vehicles, healthcare, industrial, retail, and many more. Connected homes are safer, cleaner, and more energy efficient. For example, Amway has successfully launched its first Internet-connected product—the Atmosphere Sky Air Treatment System— using AWS IoT to build policies and security throughout the entire architecture.
IoT applications are used for industrial use cases to improve processes, create new revenue streams, reduce costs, and increase safety by analyzing data from equipment, creating predictive maintenance models, and keeping devices up to date with over-the-air updates. For example, EMS uses AWS IoT to detect fuel leaks early to minimize environmental impact. EMS delivered a 500% ROI using AWS IoT.
Using AWS for IoT applications
AWS IoT services enable you to easily and securely connect and manage billions of devices. You can gather data from, run sophisticated analytics on, and take actions in real-time on your diverse fleet of IoT devices from edge to the cloud. To get started with the Internet of Things on AWS, choose a service to learn more and view AWS IoT customer case studies.