Amazon has announced that Amazon Web Services IoT is now out of beta and generally available, in a move which could be a game-changer for simplifying IoT deployments.
The development of AWS IoT came about because Amazon noticed some recurring issues for IoT projects which Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for Amazon Web Services, called ‘pain points’ which ‘add complexity and development time to IoT applications’. Key among these is the variety of SDKs and protocols for connecting devices to the cloud, which need to be supported with security and scalability at their core.
In a blog post, Barr also noted the difficulties posed by devices that connect intermittently to the Internet in scenarios where both the cloud and the device have important roles to play. And he points out that the volume of data generated by IoT devices necessitates a big data approach to storage, analysis and visualisation of information.
AWS IoT leverages the benefits Amazon gained from its acquisition of IoT platform 2lemetry early in 2015. Its AWS IoT Device SDK supports fast development and the suite includes a range of device friendly features such as Device Shadow, which can gather information about devices when they’re not Internet-connected, and relay it when they are. The API based approach helps mitigate the need for complex coding, and the SDK is available in a single downloadable package that includes the code library, code samples, and documentation.
A broad range of Amazon services sit in the background providing the infrastructure for clients’ IoT developments. These include AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), and Amazon Redshift.
Barr says that many AWS customers are already building apps and creating new business around IoT. He gives two examples – Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform and a home security system called Scout Alarm. He also says there are already initiatives for AWS IoT implementations in a number of industries including agriculture, vehicles, consumer devices, gaming, home automation, logistics, medical, municipal infrastructure, oil and gas, and robotics.