Amazon continues Internet of Things push with AWS IoT

Intel AWS IoT starter kitThe new AWS platform is designed to allow IoT devices to connect to the AWS cloud as well as a managed cloud service to assist with processing the data.

AWS IoT has been launched in beta, which usually means it’s not quite ready yet, but it needs people to try it out in order to iron out lingering bugs. In essence it appears to be Amazon’s play to put itself in the thick of the IoT land-grab, as the repository of all the data constantly being generated by the billions of sensors expected to comprise the IoT.

In many ways Amazon’s many previous launches and announcements at this year’s AWS re:Invent seems to have been leading up to this, as they’ve all been about making easier to transfer data into the AWS cloud. Specifically Amazon Kenisis Firehose, which is designed to make it easier to upload wireless streaming data to the AWS cloud, seems to have been launched with IoT in mind.

“The promise of the Internet of Things is to make everyday products smarter for consumers, and for businesses to enable better, data-driven offerings that weren’t possible before,” said Marco Argenti, VP of Mobile and IoT at AWS.

“World-leading organizations like Philips, NASA JPL, and Sonos already use AWS services to support the back-end of their IoT applications. Now, AWS IoT enables a whole ecosystem of manufacturers, service providers, and application developers to easily connect their products to the cloud at scale, take action on the data they collect, and create a new class of applications that interact with the physical world.”

Device connections are handled by a device gateway, which provides tools for predetermining responses to data received. AWS IoT also creates a virtual version of each device in the cloud so it can be interacted with even in times of intermittent connectivity. A dedicated SDK aims to make it easier for developers to do clever things with IoT devices and a bunch of semiconductor companies have already got on-board by embedding the SDK into IoT chips, including Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, Mediatek, Microchip, Qualcomm and TI. There are also a bunch of IoT starter kits which can, of course, be bought on Amazon.

“At Philips we aim to empower people to take greater control of their health with digital solutions that support healthy living and improved care coordination,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO Healthcare Informatics, Solutions and Services at Philips. “Our HealthSuite digital platform and its device cloud are already managing more than seven million connected, medical-grade and consumer devices, sensors, and mobile apps.

“With the addition of AWS IoT, we will greatly accelerate the pursuit of our vision. It will be easier to acquire, process, and act upon data from heterogeneous devices in real-time. Our products, and the care they support, are enabled to grow smarter and more personalized over time.”

On top of moves like the Dash Button IoT consumables automated ordering service, this move cements Amazon’s ambition to be a major IoT player, with AWS at the core. If it delivers on the promise of making IoT easier for companies and developers all the other tech giants currently involved in the IoT land grab may need to raise their game.