Amazon opens distribution network for IoT devices

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AWS IoT is a new platform that is designed to make it easier to connect devices via the cloud

Amazon Web Services has jumped onto the Internet of Things bandwagon in a big way by offering “starter kits” to companies via a new distribution network.

AWS IoT is a new platform that is designed to makes it easier for devices – including cars, turbines, sensor grids, light bulbs and gadgets – to connect to AWS services so that companies can store, process, analyse and act on the large 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.

Connected devices are usually operated via applications that communicate with them using APIs, but devices may not always be available to respond to API calls because of intermittent connectivity or because of power constraints, said AWS.

Internet of things IoTAWS IoT creates a virtual version or “shadow” of each connected device that includes all of the information about the device’s state. It is always available so that applications can check the device’s status and take actions that are automatically sent to the device once it reconnects.

AWS IoT provides an SDK that makes it easy for developers to use the AWS IoT functionality from connected devices, and from mobile and web applications. A number of semiconductor manufacturers now have starter kits available powered by AWS IoT, that embed the AWS IoT Device SDK and offer connectivity to AWS IoT “out of the box”.

With AWS IoT, said the cloud services firm, customers have a pay-as-you-go service that handles the heavy lifting involved in connecting any number of disparate devices, allowing them to securely interact with each other.

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, vice president, mobile and IoT, AWS.

Through the new AWS Hardware Partner Program, a growing ecosystem of semiconductor manufacturers, including Arrow, Avnet, Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, Mediatek, Microchip, Qualcomm, Renasas, SeedStudio and Texas Instruments, are offering the embedded IoT starter kits.

These kits offer a wide range of microcontroller, sensor and development boards that developers and manufacturers can use to rapidly prototype AWS IoT enabled connected devices.