In this article, you will use the AWS Button to get started connecting services and securing a “thing” for the Internet of Things. There are lots of great articles that explain what IOT is and why it will be big. But, sometimes, you just want something simple that “shows me” what IOT is and how to get started. Out new series, Back to Basics, looks to get you started without having to bang your head forcefully against a wall.
What is IOT?
Internet of Things (IOT) can be best described with the following quote from Wikipedia:
The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure.
We can point to examples of IOT in action: smart light bulbs, smart thermostat, a smartwatch, etc…. but how does this apply to you? The core to IOT is to provide insight into how your customer or a system operates. The goal is to make the life of your customer better with the data you receive.
IOT only becomes effective if you can see it working in action.
Demonstrating IOT in Action with Amazon’s AWS Button
A fast way to demonstrate IOT in action is to use Amazon’s AWS IOT Button. The AWS IOT Button is an unlocked Dash Button that you can program yourself. When you are done setting you your AWS Button you will know the following:
- Create an AWS Developer Account
- Connect an IOT device to the internet
- Introduction to Lambda Functions
- Introduction to AWS Dashboard
The foundation you create activating AWS Button can be applied to future IOT solutions that leverage Amazon Web Services.
Step One: Buy an AWS button
OK, yeah, I know, this seems fundamental. You can purchase the AWS Button at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KW6YCIM
Step Two: Creating an AWS Account
You will need to go to the following site and create a free AWS account: https://portal.aws.amazon.com/billing/signup#/start
Step Three: Connecting your Button
The fastest way to connect your AWS Button is to download the ASW Button iOS or Android app. Each app has the step by step instructions to connect.
What is happening
Without writing a line of code, setting up your AWS IOT Button will complete the following:
You have completed the following:
- Connected a “Thing” (AWS IOT Button) to the internet
- Secured the “Thing” with AWS
- Run a Lambda Function that is triggered when you press the button
- Connected to Amazon’s SNS services to execute the commands of the function
Taking it from here
Setting up the button gives you the foundation knowledge needed to get started with IOT using Amazon’s AWS IOT Core Services. Next steps are to go into AWS and create new functions that run when the AWS IOT button is pressed.