Episode 244: How AWS plans to take on the IoT

This week Amazon announced several new services ahead of its re:Invent event next week including news about Alexa Voice Services and the IoT elements of the cloud. We also touch base about Wink’s latest problem and try to explain the kerfuffle on lightweight IoT encryption. In smaller news bits, we talk about Wyze killing its person-detection feature unexpectedly, NB-IoT trackers from See.Sense and Flok, Google’s Ambient Mode coming to phones and Black Friday deals. We then review the Philips Hue Smart Button and the RoomMe presence detection devices from Intellithings. We end by answering a listener question about ways to remotely track his parents’ medicine adherence.

The Flok is one of several upcoming trackers that will rely on NB-IoT. Image courtesy of Flok.

Our guest this week brings us back to where we started, with Sarah Cooper, GM of outcome-driven engineering at Amazon Web Services, coming on the show to talk about how Amazon plans to compete in the industrial and enterprise IoT with cloud and on-premise services. She talks about the latest news, the architecture required for the IoT, and the three laws of building a connected service. Plus, she explains why containers and serverless computing matter so much for the internet of things. You’ll learn a lot.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Sarah Cooper, GM of outcome-driven engineering at AWS
Sponsors: Legrand and Schlage

  • Amazon doubles down on the cloud for Alexa
  • What’s up with the lightweight-encryption debate
  • I loved the Hue Smart Button but Kevin didn’t go for the RoomMe sensors
  • How Amazon plans to compete for enterprise and industrial cloud services
  • Amazon’s three laws for architecting services

Published by

Stacey Higginbotham

I am a journalist who has covered technology for over a decade at publications such as Fortune, PCMag, Gigaom, The Deal and BusinessWeek.

One thought on “Episode 244: How AWS plans to take on the IoT”

  1. I have been listening to Kevin’s tail of Wink Hub related woe. I considered SmartThings as he did, but baulked when I realised it requires internet connectivity for every function. I was unwilling to invest time and effort in a system that could cease to function at the whim of any one of many managers or politicians who might at any moment have control of or influence over any one of the components necessary to make an internet connected system work.

    I wonder whether there is some reason why Kevin doesn’t use the Vera or Homeseer hubs. I am building a house and arrived at the Vera and Homeseer after dismissing most of the others on the basis of cost and the limitations in scope and function of most of the closed ecosystems.

    I declined quotes from several suppliers such as Control 4 and Loxone who have very comprehensive offerings, but seemed to:-
    1. offer less capable devices than some of the market leaders;
    2. be unwilling or unable to integrate with the vast array of devices that I considered to be best of breed as point solutions for specific functions (e.g. Nest Protect Smoke Detectors)
    3. Require complete reliance on their system – an issue for wives (mine and Kevin’s) who want house systems (like light switches and water heating) to function reliably and predictably regardless of whether the smart home system happens to be up or down at any moment.
    4. Do not provide user maintainable systems or full documentation, and demand that I pay enormous sums to their integrators for design, installation and ongoing maintenance.

    The recent changes by Google and Amazon that seem to be deprioritising cross-ecosystem integration are worrying for people like me who have invested in a wide range of different point solutions on the assumption that integration will improve over time.

    I would be grateful to hear any comment you have on the future viability of these hubs in a Z Wave environment, and whether you consider integration between point solutions is likely to improve or degrade in the future.

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