AWS focused on industrial and enterprise for Re:Invent: At its annual user conference, Amazon Web Services unleashed a flurry of new products and services, such as a race car game — and physical race cars — that together are designed to help developers understand reinforcement learning, and new ARM-based server clusters for buyers of computing. But our focus here is the IoT, and Amazon did not disappoint. It showed off four new services it plans to launch that will boost its capabilities in the industrial and enterprise markets, and may help it compete better with Microsoft.
These services include IoT Events, which will monitor sensors at scale and analyze their data from changes, failures, and trends. It can trigger pre-defined actions, generate alerts, and includes AWS IoT SiteWise, which will combine an on-premise gateway with AWS’ cloud services to pull data from and organize it across multiple facilities. The key here is that the gateway collects data that is compliant with OPC-UA, a popular industrial protocol, so that companies can use SiteWise to build visual reproductions of product lines and combine them with analytics. AWS also introduced IoT Thing Graph to assist with the mishmash of industrial protocols and help companies build edge IoT applications. I feel like this will compete with efforts from OSIsoft and Kepware.
It also introduced new security features for connecting AWS Greengrass — the service that links devices at the edge with Amazon’s cloud — with third-party APIs. And in related IoT news, it launched a satellite station service called Ground Station that should make it easier for companies to use satellite connectivity in their products. This should be a big deal for IoT on the high seas, and could perhaps be used as a backup to cellular for life and safety services in automobiles.
Finally, AWS launched new database services for the time series databases that are so popular in the industrial setting. Amazon Forecasts uses time-series data to track and find trends, while Amazon Timestream is a fully managed time-series database that Amazon says will store and analyze trillions of events per day at 1/10th the cost of a relational database. There’s a lot more buried in various other services, too.
Apple has plans for that bed acquisition: When news broke that Apple has purchased Beddit, a company that made a sleep tracking sensor, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine Apple linking it to better sleep data on the Apple Watch. As I’ve said before, Apple’s focus on privacy, deep integrations, and a simple user experience could lead it to succeed in the medical realm. With a November patent filing, Apple is pulling back the curtain on a locally controlled contextual home environment that includes sleep data. So Apple might suggest something as simple as a few environmental changes to improve sleep to something as complex as offering to put soothing music on the HomePod located near the consumer’s bed as she snuggles in under the covers. By the way, Apple said in September that it stopped supporting Beddit’s cloud services. (Twitter/USPTO)
Las Vegas is using Waze data to avoid accidents: Several Nevada agencies are working with a startup called Waycare to grab a variety of traffic data and analyze it in order to prevent accidents. Waycare recently started pulling in Waze data as well as data from traffic camera and other sensors. It says it has reduced accidents along a stretch of I-15 in Las Vegas by 17%. Ostensibly this is good, but I was a little sad to see it was probably the result of drivers slowing down. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada says that in areas where it tried preventative measures, 91% of drivers slowed to below 65 mph. My speed demon days may soon be behind me. (ZDNet)
Want to build a predictive factory or plant? While this article is written by the co-founder of a company selling predictive maintenance software, I liked it for the good advice and concrete example it gives. Plus it offers a list of questions that companies should ask any vendor selling them predictive maintenance. (Electric Light Power Newsletter)
C3 has released a new version of its platform: C3, which has grown from a provider of software for energy companies has evolved to help all industries take data and use it to easily build AI models. The latest update will help users with tons of data sitting in data lakes create “virtual data lakes” that the customer can then use to figure out what data is useful and what isn’t without trying to wrestle through petabytes of chaff. It also creates a code-less interface for building AI models and adds new applications such as anti-money laundering and inventory management that companies can adapt easily to their particular data. (C3)
All hail the mighty edge: As companies increasingly embrace IoT, they are seeing the benefits of more computing at the edge. HP Enterprise has updated its software to reflect this trend with a new update to its Edgeline Converged Edge Systems. These computers are designed for computing on factory floors, and with the update, they will soon be able to pull in data from all of the other machines and analyze their data. HP says it is following the trend of data being created, stored, and processed outside of traditional data centers. As you may recall from the Amazon news, especially the launch of AWS IoT SiteWise, Amazon is clearly thinking the same way. Gartner estimates that 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud, up from less than about 10% now. (Network World)