Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), has announced four significant services and capabilities that make it easier to ingest data from edge devices and build rich Internet of Things (IoT) applications. AWS IoT SiteWise is a new managed service that collects, structures, and searches IoT data from industrial facility devices and uses it to analyze equipment and process performance data. AWS IoT Events is a managed IoT service that makes it easy to detect and respond to changes indicated by IoT sensors and applications, such as malfunctioning equipment or a stuck conveyor belt, and automatically trigger actions or alerts. AWS IoT Things Graph is a new service that makes it easy to build IoT applications with little or no code by connecting different devices and cloud services, such as linking humidity sensors to sprinklers to weather data services to create an agricultural application, through a visual drag-and-drop interface. AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors gives developers the ability to connect third-party applications like ServiceNow for service management, on-premises software like Splunk for log analytics, and AWS services like Amazon Kinesis for data ingest via common cloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). With this ability, developers can easily add more features like location-based services, replenishment, industrial data processing, alarm and messaging, repair and maintenance, logistics, and more, without writing code.
"Customers tell us they want to spend less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of getting different devices and services to work together and more time innovating on full-featured IoT applications,” said Dirk Didascalou, Vice President IoT, AWS. “We are giving customers tools that remove the cost and complexity of building applications at the edge with rich data sources to drive better business decision-making. This frees them up to spend time innovating in their core business, instead of writing code to connect devices and applications and to ingest actionable sensor data.”
New services make it easier to collect, monitor, and process industrial IoT data
Industrial companies such as manufacturers, energy utilities, and food processors want to be able to utilize their device data to drive faster and better-informed decisions, but much of this data cannot be easily collected, processed, or monitored. Extracting data from thousands of sensors across different locations is time-consuming and expensive and device data is often stored on-site in specialized servers. To help customers realize the value of their industrial data, AWS is announcing:
- AWS IoT SiteWise (available in preview) is a managed service that collects data from the plant floor, structures and labels the data, and generates real-time key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to help customers make better, data-driven decisions. Customers can use AWS IoT SiteWise to monitor operations across facilities, quickly compute common industrial performance metrics, build applications that analyze industrial equipment data to prevent costly equipment issues, and reduce gaps in production. Customers will be able to collect data consistently from devices, identify issues with remote monitoring more quickly, and improve cross-site processes with centralized data.
- AWS IoT Events (available in preview) is a managed service that makes it easy for industrial, consumer, and commercial customers to detect and respond to events from many different IoT sensors and applications. Events are patterns of data that identify changes in equipment like a conveyor belt becoming stuck or a motion sensor detecting movement after hours. Using IoT Events, customers can easily detect events like this at a massive scale by analyzing data across thousands of IoT sensors and hundreds of equipment management applications in real time. For example, when temperature changes indicate that a freezer door is not sealing properly, business logic can be used through AWS IoT Events to send a text message to a service technician.
Bayer is a global enterprise with a core focus in the life sciences fields of health care and agriculture. “At Bayer, we constantly strive for the highest operational equipment effectiveness (OEE) within our manufacturing facilities by capturing, monitoring, and analyzing equipment metrics,” said Peri Subrahmanya, Product Manager, IoT, Bayer U.S. Crop Science. “AWS IoT SiteWise allows for a seamless data capture of relevant open platform communications (OPC) data streams via a gateway device and modeling of our shelling, treating, and chopping equipment in the cloud in order to help build analytical dashboards. We can then use these dashboards to identify inefficiencies and take corrective action.”
New capabilities make it easier to build IoT applications
The promise of IoT is that customers will connect devices and sensors to create a single view of an environment like a farm or a factory, and then build applications that address the needs of that environment holistically. However, this ideal has been difficult to achieve in practice because getting all of the devices and applications to work together requires customers to navigate a complex mess of device interfaces and protocols. Connecting IoT devices today requires developers to take several tedious, time intensive, low-level steps to get the devices to talk with each other and then to other applications before they can write the business logic that provides the actual value. Today, AWS is announcing new capabilities to build and extend IoT applications.
- AWS IoT Things Graph (available in preview) allows developers to build IoT applications by representing devices and cloud services as reusable models that can be combined through a visual drag-and-drop interface, instead of writing low-level code. AWS IoT Things Graph reduces the time required to make devices and services work together by providing a visual way to represent complex real-world systems, and deploys IoT applications to the edge on devices running AWS Greengrass so that applications can respond more quickly, even if not connected to the Internet. With AWS IoT Things Graph, developers can more easily build complex applications that automate home security, connect devices to an ERP system for supply chain analysis, link an office tower’s HVAC system to weather data services to reduce energy costs, and much more.
- AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors (available today) is a new feature of AWS IoT Greengrass that helps web and mobile developers create powerful applications that enable AWS IoT Greengrass devices to connect to third-party applications, such as ServiceNow, Splunk, and Twilio, while securely handling access control and credentials. For example, customers can use AWS IoT Greengrass to detect a problem with a connected washing machine, and then use the Greengrass Connector for ServiceNow to automatically trigger alarms and notifications to a service technician. Using AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors, devices can more easily integrate with cloud and on-premises applications that provide device logging and diagnostics, location-based services, replenishment, industrial data processing, alarm and messaging, repair and maintenance, logistics and more.
Intel’s innovation in cloud computing, data center, Internet of Things, and PC solutions is focused on powering the smart and connected digital world. “Developers will be able to build solutions faster with AWS IoT Greengrass-based applications on Intel® platforms, including RFP Kits and Intel® based gateways,” said Steen Graham, General Manager of IoT Ecosystem & Channels, Intel Corporation. “Intel’s product development focuses on addressing the key challenges businesses face when implementing IoT. As the IoT landscape continues to evolve, Intel and AWS are committed to a roadmap of purpose-built products and technologies that are designed around developer needs for both today and in the future.”