Amazon Web Services Announces AWS IoT

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At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services has announced AWS IoT – a new platform that would make it easy for devices – cars, turbines, sensor grids, light bulbs, and more – to connect to AWS Cloud services so that companies can store, process, analyze, and act on the volumes of data generated by connected devices on a global scale.

Devices connect to AWS IoT’s Device Gateway, and manufacturers can set rules for how AWS IoT handles the data they send, and the actions they take when various conditions are met (such as sending an alert when a pressure sensor reports an unusually high reading or a motion detector is triggered).

With AWS IoT, customers would be able to:

  • Connect devices to the Cloud and to each other (Device Gateway and AWS IoT Device SDK) – Devices connect to AWS IoT via the Device Gateway using both HTTP and Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT), an industry-standard, lightweight communication protocol designed for sensors and mobile devices, making them interoperable independent of the protocol they use. AWS IoT also supports other industry-standard and custom protocols that customers may have already implemented, and devices can communicate directly with each other regardless of the protocol they use. AWS IoT scales as the number of devices grows, providing connectivity “with low latency and high throughput” on a global scale.
  • aws-cloudSecure data and interactions – AWS IoT provides mutual authentication so that data is never exchanged between devices and AWS IoT without proven identity, and encrypts all data coming into and out of connected devices. AWS IoT is fully integrated with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), making it easy for customers to set granular permissions for individual devices, or fleets of devices, and manage them throughout the lifecycle of the device. Customers can generate and embed security credentials in their existing connected devices, or AWS IoT can generate new ones when devices are first activated.
  • Process and act upon device data (Rules Engine) – AWS IoT’s rules engine lets customers define rules that filter, process, and route data between devices, AWS services, and applications. Using the AWS Management Console, the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS IoT APIs, customers can create rules that apply to data from a single device (such as a sensor), a group of devices (such as a sensor array), or a mix of devices and data sources (such as a sensor array and data stored in Amazon DynamoDB). Rules specify conditions that, when verified, instruct AWS IoT to take actions such as routing data to Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Machine Learning, or Amazon DynamoDB.
  • Allow cloud applications to interact with connected devices even when they are offline (Device Shadows) – AWS IoT would create a persistent, virtual version, or “shadow,” of every device that stores the latest state of a device so that applications or other devices can read messages from the device and interact with it anytime – even if it is offline. By providing always-available REST APIs, AWS IoT would make it easier for customers to build applications that interact with connected devices. Applications can read the state of a device or set a desired future state through API calls, and AWS IoT takes care of setting the correct state, sending only relevant changes to the device once it reconnects.
  • Get started quickly with AWS IoT Starter Kits from leading hardware manufacturers – Through the new AWS Hardware Partner Program, a growing ecosystem of semiconductor manufacturers, including Arrow, Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, Mediatek, Microchip, Qualcomm, Renasas, SeedStudio, and Texas Instruments are offering IoT starter kits powered by AWS that include the AWS IoT SDK and hardware components that are ready to connect to AWS IoT. Available for purchase on amazon.com, these kits would offer a wide range of microcontroller, sensor, and development boards that developers and manufacturers can use to very rapidly prototype AWS IoT enabled connected devices.
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