IOT News Roundup

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Amazon Web Services announces IoT platform; Wipro joins Georgia Tech's IoT research center; Acuity Brands Lighting, Silver Spring Networks partner on smart lighting platform; Digi gobbles up bluenica.

  • TAGS

Amazon Web Services Launches IoT Platform

At its Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, Amazon Web Services (AWS),’s cloud computing and IT infrastructure services platform, unveiled AWS IoT, a new service designed to make it easier for companies to tie connected devices to the cloud and to applications.

The platform has six main mechanisms:
• A software development kit (SDK), which customers will use to enable devices to connect, authenticate and exchange messages with the cloud-based AWS IoT platform, using the MQTT or HTTP protocols; authentication and authorization services, which use mutual authentication; and encryption to secure data exchanges
• A device gateway, which employs a subscription model to support message exchange (also using MQTT and HTTP protocols) in either one-to-one or one-to-many communications (the latter allows a connected device to broadcast data to multiple subscribers)
• A registry, which assigns a unique identifier to every device connected to the platform and tracks its associated metadata related to the device’s function or attribute
• Device shadows, which generate a virtual version (“shadow”) of each connected device
• A rules engine, used to build IoT applications that leverage rules set by a user to gather, process, analyze and act on data generated by connected devices, and to route data to other AWS services, such as the AWS Kinesis data analytics engine

AWS said it has launched a beta version of the IoT platform, with pricing starting at $5 per million messages transacted on the platform. The company has also partnered with 10 different chipmakers and board manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, Intel and MediaTek, to pair the AWS IoT SDK into starter kits. The full list of companies offerings these kits is available here.

Last week, at its Azure cloud virtual event AzureCon, Microsoft announced the availability of its IoT suite, first announced in April 2015, which combines Microsoft products and services relevant to IoT deployments into a single platform.

Wipro Joins Georgia Tech’s IoT Center as Founding Member

Wipro, an IT services provider and consultancy based in Bangalore, India, has joined the Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT), an interdisciplinary research and education lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, as a founding sponsor. The CDAIT was launched this year.

Charter members of CDAIT’s Executive Advisory Board (EAB) will be able to participate in research projects, receive pre-published research reports, be invited to special events, and benefit from a range of other interactive activities with CDAIT. Intellectual property agreements have been put in place to allow Wipro access to the latest in cutting-edge IoT research at Georgia Tech.

As a founding member, Wipro will take a seat on the CDAIT Executive Advisory Board and have the opportunity to participate in research projects, receive pre-published research reports and attend special events.

Other founding members include AirWatch (which makes an enterprise mobility management platform), AT&T and Samsung Electronics.

New Smart Lighting Platform for Cities

At a municipal lighting industry conference held this week, Acuity Brands Lighting, a group of 13 lighting brands that serve commercial and industrial clients, and Silver Spring Networks, a provider of wireless networking systems used for advanced utility-metering and smart-city applications, announced an agreement to jointly develop an intelligent lighting platform.

The platform will integrate Silver Spring’s Gen5 IPv6 networking platform and its Streetlight.Vision smart city management software, which enables operators to monitor and control networked streetlights, with Acuity Controls’ DLL series lighting-control sensor. The companies are targeting the platform to utilities, cities and large campus operators, and say it will enable these customers to upgrade their existing lighting infrastructure to LED lights, which can decrease energy costs by up to 60 percent over older lighting technology, while laying the foundation for building smart-city services and applications. Customers deploying the joint solution will be able to control streetlights based on ambient light levels, real-time traffic and weather.

Digi Acquires Cold-Chain Services Company bluenica

Digi International, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of embedded systems, routers and machine-to-machine network devices, has acquired bluenica, a temperature-monitoring service provider founded in 2012 in St. Catharines, Ontario.

The acquired company, now called Digi Cold Chain Solutions, offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that uses low-power wireless sensors, communications gateways and cloud-based software to continuously monitor the temperatures of perishable goods. When sensors indicate that perishables are nearing a temperature threshold, the system automatically sends alerts to a user’s smartphone, tablet or computer. The solution is designed for cold chain transportation providers, but can also be used in refrigerated warehouses, grocery stores and restaurants.

Terms of the transaction were not immediately disclosed.