AWS IoT block diagram via Amazon

AWS IoT block diagram via Amazon

Today Amazon announced Amazon Web Services (AWS) Internet of Things (IoT), a system designed to simplify connecting embedded development boards to Amazon’s cloud computing system.

Getting starting with AWS IoT is fairly straightforward. Simply head on over to Amazon and create an account. Once you’ve configured your Amazon account to include web services, look for the IoT section in the overall AWS landing page. (For me it is in the top right corner of the screen.) It is wise to browse the “Getting Started” documentation, but the real interesting part is how you will deploy code on your embedded boards to interact with AWS.

AWSlanding

Currently, three different approaches exist to writing code to connect your board to the Amazon cloud: a mass-appeal, Linux-focused C software developer kit (SDK), a Javascript/nodejs SDK, and a specialized SDK for the Arduino Yún’s unique bridge architecture (which is only really applicable if you are using a Yún).

For a concrete example, check out the Intel IoT team’s GitHub repository and easy on-boarding instructions to get started with AWS IoT and the Intel Edison module.

Overall system architecture

Overall system architecture

AWS IoT is built on four main parts with security and identity services threaded throughout the entire system. A message broker negotiates information transport and delivery from the cloud to devices, and vice versa; a rules engine analyzes messages allowing for customized actions based on observed states; a thing registry records all the physical things associated with your network; and a thing shadow list that is basically a virtualization of the physical things on your network, and is also useful for tracking state-changes and predicting future states.

This is big news for the Maker community because AWS IoT is all about using boards we already deploy in our projects anyway, with the enormous processing power of Amazon Web Services. For example, six of the ten starter kits promoted by Amazon are boards we are currently reviewing for an upcoming issue of Make:.