AWS Takes Deep Dive Into Internet Of Things

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Amazon Web Services capped off its re:Invent conference Thursday by unveiling an expansive Internet of Things platform intended to help system integrators capitalize off the burgeoning number of interconnected sensors and devices being deployed across a broad range of industries.

A day after AWS chief Andy Jassy revealed seven new features and services coming to the world's largest cloud, Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels delivered the closing keynote in Las Vegas, describing how partners can create new solutions by applying existing AWS capabilities.

"Now that everything is software, we can really start building applications the way we've always wanted to," Vogels told a good portion of the 19,000 total conference-goers.

[Related: 7 Things Coming For AWS Partners]

Many system integrators have turned to AWS for building and hosting the back-end functionality required to power the numerous and diverse Internet of Things applications cropping up. They're leveraging existing Amazon services -- from the Aurora database to the Redshift analytics platform, from S3 object storage to Lambda code-execution sans server, to Kinesis for streaming data.

To support their work, the cloud provider unveiled a new IoT competency for its channel at its Global Partner Summit on Tuesday.

The booming IoT ecosystem is making it possible for everything from toothbrushes to trash bins, street lamps and pocket-sized molecular analyzers to stream data, Vogels said. Even the hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the AWS conference venue were networked.

"So many things [are] happening in this whole world of IoT," Vogels said. "One thing really heating up is the world of industrial Internet of Things."

Illustrating that point, over the course of the conference, representatives from BMW, Major League Baseball and General Electric shared stories about how data streaming from untraditional sources was transforming their businesses. A video showed how smart tractors built by agricultural machine vendor John Deere were used by farmers to intelligently plant seeds and track crops.

Despite the buy-in from industrial vendors and burgeoning adoption by customers, building IoT applications remains extremely difficult, Vogels said.

"There's a lot of heavy lifting you still have to do," he told the audience.

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