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AWS IoT HackDay in Singapore 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well on its way, bringing with it simultaneous streams of data from internet-connected devices the world over to the cloud. To prep enterprises on the challenges that will come with the rise of this technological revolution, Amazon Web Services (AWS) created the annual IoT Hack Day.

Various enterprise teams participated in the second year of the ASEAN AWS IoT Hack Day in Singapore. On this day-long education and hackathon event, teams are tasked to build smart, AWS-powered cloud-connected device prototypes that set the ground for a smarter digital age.

What is Amazon Web Services?

If you missed our Amazon Web Services online article release or didn’t get to see the feature we made in the last issue, we’ll be more than happy to fill you in.

AWS launched in 2006 and officially began offering developer customers access to web services—now widely known as cloud computing—based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform. It now powers more than a million of active customer organizations ranging from enterprise, government, and startup businesses, in 190 countries around the world.

In this digital age where cloud computing has become the new normal, compared to the costly traditional IT model infrastructures where one needs R&D expertise to operate, AWS is rather a highly reliable, scalable, and low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that is easy to understand. In AWS, organizations have a database that’s simply adaptable and can efficiently handle continuous streams of data without having to wrestle with hardware server complicacies.

AWS also has the largest and widest service portfolio to accurately serve the requirements of each customer segment. The growing AWS platform includes more than 70 different services that range from computing power, storage, content delivery, database, analytics, application services, management and deployment, networking, among many others.

AWS IoT Platform

AWS IoT is among Amazon’s many dynamic services that can connect a generous amount of devices to AWS so that they can intermingle with applications and other devices. It is a secure platform that allows bi-directional communication between internet-connected things and the AWS cloud. AWS IoT enables users to manage, process, and analyse collected data from connected devices and act upon it. Users of this platform are also able to remotely keep track of data-generated by these connected devices from their phones or tablets through the use of applications.

This service is easy to manage and provides ample flexibility through AWS services like AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service with built-in Kibana integration, to build IoT applications.

IoT Hack Day Teams

Teams that participated in this year’s ASEAN Hack Day consisted of self-employed, startup, SMB, enterprise, educational institution, and non-profit organizations who have at least basic knowledge of AWS Cloud services and have prior experience with IoT devices.

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During the event, the 14 competing teams were able to showcase the effectiveness of AWS Cloud services in the IoT age through their creative connected-device prototypes. Making use of supplied sensors, Intel Edison board—an ultra-small computing platform, C.H.I.P. and Amazon’s Alexa, we witnessed quite a lot of workable and creative IoT concepts and solutions given a restricted amount of time.

Each connected-device prototypes are intended to provide solutions for three categories: healthcare, transport, and lifestyle. Among the standout transport solution entries were from: Transport Transponders, a passenger notification service for public transportation which will alert bus drivers of commuters along bus stops; Reefer Connect, a cloud-connected (refrigerated) shipping container that monitors temperature, humidity, and detects impact and alarms when opened; Craftlo, an intelligent parking system that detects and alerts when there’s an empty parking space; and IoTiger, a smart billboard that detects weather and traffic conditions and adjusts displayed announcements aptly.

27Bomb defusal game by Fighting Mongoose

The lifestyle category featured several “why didn’t I thought of that” entries. Among them are from: Fighting Mongoose, a connected interactive game where you have to “disarm the bomb” through fun, social mindgames; The Fellowship, an automated plantantion watering and fertilization system; Scikits, a building surface monitoring system that makes use of cameras and intelligent image detectors to monitor surfaces for faults; and Nutrunners, an augmented reality connected repair and maintenance system that makes use of intelligent, AR tools for quality control.

There were only two entries for healthcare and these were from How now Brown cows and Noticare which are a medication adherence tracking system and patient monitoring and alert system, respectively.

20160427_174656Team The Fellowship

The Fellowship (from Zalora) managed to get third place with their entry. The prototype is an automated plant watering and fertilization system that monitors your fauna through sensors that detects the soils moisture level and transfers data gathered in real time to an app. Should you be out when watering is needed, you can remotely splash your plants via triggering a pump that draws water from a reservoir through the app. This proof of concept could be deployed in urban settings or even just at home. They took home a USD 1,000 worth of AWS Cloud Service credits.

20160427_180326Smart billboard prototype by IoTigers

The Malaysian team from MayBank, IoTigers, came in second with their smart billboard prototype. The billboard uses a sensor to detect ambient information—temperature, humidity, UV exposure, motion—to contextualized advertisements shown on billboards. With this, the right target market is effectively reached, making it a more cost-effective marketing platform for customers. Thanks to their smart billboard system, IoTigers took home a USD 1,500 worth of AWS Cloud Service credits.

Name of team 10_Nutrunners (3)Team Nutrunners explaining how their smart tool works.

Emerging victorious in this year’s ASEAN hackathon is the Nutrunners; a team from Bosch who crafted an augmented realty repair and maintenance system.  The prototype is a combination of augmented reality and smart tools such as a nutrunner that allows for a fun, interactive, and controlled experience when performing maintenance on machines or vehicles. Being connected to the Alexa Voice Service and a virtual reality headset, users can accurately screw in bolts or drill holes and be notified of areas where maintenance need to be performed intelligently. The Nutrunners, took home a USD 2,000 worth of AWS Cloud Service credits and Amazon echo for each team member.

AWS’ IoT HackDay encourages enterprises to innovate and build innovations that would initiate positive growth for the Internet of Things.

First published in Gadgets Magazine, June 2016 issue.