Category Archives : Internet of Things



Prepare and certify your devices for IoT Plug and Play

Developing solutions with Azure IoT has never been faster, easier, or more secure. However, the tight coupling and integration between IoT device software and the software that matches it in the cloud can make it challenging to add different devices without spending hours writing device code.

IoT Plug and Play can solve this by enabling a seamless device-to-cloud integration experience. IoT Plug and Play from Microsoft is an open approach using Digital Twin Definition Language (based on JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD)) that allows IoT devices to declare their capabilities to cloud solutions. It enables hardware partners to build devices that can easily integrate with cloud solutions based on Azure IoT Central, as well as third-party solutions built on top of Azure IoT Hub or Azure Digital Twins.

As such, we are pleased to announce that the IoT Plug and Play device certification program is now available for companies to certify and drive awareness of their devices tailored for solutions, while also reducing time to market. In this blog post, we will explore the common ecosystem challenges and business motivations for using IoT Plug and Play, as well as why companies are choosing to pursue IoT Plug and




Build safer, more resilient workplaces with IoT solutions

We are coming together as a global community, looking for opportunities to act or perform small steps that drive change for the better. Many parts of the world are still in the first stage of responding, actively working through the immediate crisis with urgency. While other areas have started on recovery, looking at how to restart the economy, provide stability, and most importantly bring together our society. Amidst these goals are also questions, how do we make it safe for people to connect in person? To have a meal with friends, travel to see loved ones, or function as a community?

Top of mind for many organizations, and a theme prevalent at Microsoft’s inaugural virtual Inspire conference this week: how do we make it safe for people to return to the workplace? And how can the Internet of Things (IoT) play a role in supporting these phases of responding, recovering, and rebuilding?

Digital capabilities enabling business resilience

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a reminder of how interconnected humanity is globally—and how resilient the human spirit can be. But it has also shown that businesses using technology to stay connected have been more resilient than others.

In the world of IoT,




Azure Time Series Insights Gen2: Leading the next generation of industrial IoT analytics platforms

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well-established for helping businesses find real-time insights from their industrial assets opening the path towards Industry 4.0. Answering questions like “how are all of my assets performing right now?” or “how can I improve my manufacturing process and attainment?” and “when will my assets need servicing?” used to be impossible to know or required manual data collection that was always out of date.

Today, business leaders are taking advantage of IoT to see this information with the click of a button. Yet as larger volumes of data are collected from industrial assets, finding insights can become more and more difficult. It can start to require costly and time-consuming data wrangling and data analytics techniques performed by highly specialized staff.

This is where Azure Time Series Insights Gen2 comes in. This fully managed IoT analytics platform—generally available today—enables you to uncover hidden trends, spot anomalies, and conduct root-cause analysis in large volumes of industrial data with an intuitive and straightforward user experience. Simple yet powerful, Azure Time Series Insights Gen2 allows you to explore and analyze billions of contextualized events across millions of sensors.

Since Azure Times Series Insights Gen2 is a serverless offering, you




Microsoft Azure IoT Connector for FHIR now in preview

Today, Microsoft released the preview of Azure IoT Connector for FHIR—a fully managed feature of the Azure API for FHIR. The connector empowers health teams with the technology for a scalable end-to-end pipeline to ingest, transform, and manage Protected Health Information (PHI) data from devices using the security of FHIR® APIs.

Telehealth and remote monitoring. It’s long been talked about in the delivery of healthcare, and while some areas of health have created targeted use cases in the last few years, the availability of scalable telehealth platforms that can span multiple devices and schemas has been a barrier. Yet in a matter of months, COVID-19 has accelerated the discussion. We have an urgent need for care teams to find secure and scalable ways to deliver remote monitoring platforms and to extend their services to patients in the home environment.

Unlike other services that can use generic video services and data transfer in virtual settings, telehealth visits and remote monitoring in healthcare require data pipelines that can securely manage Protected Health Information (PHI). To be truly effective, they must also be designed for interoperability with existing health software like electronic medical record platforms. When it comes to remote monitoring scenarios, privacy,




Making buildings smarter with Azure IoT
Making buildings smarter with Azure IoT

Commercial real estate developers, building owners, facilities management companies, and tenants have a huge opportunity to address, and solve for, the unique business challenges faced by their industry, by applying the Internet of Things (IoT) to buildings. For example, by leveraging data from IoT sensors and building management systems, companies can gain insights that enable them to save energy, reduce operational expenses, increase occupant comfort, and optimize space.

However, the COVID-19 crisis has presented a new set of challenges for developers, owners, and management companies. New forecasts show the smart building market size growing between 7.3 percent and 11.6 percent annually to overall market revenues of between $65.2 billion and $82.7 billion USD in 2025.1

Smart buildings also help companies meet regulations for tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s look at how Bosch Building Technologies, Bentley Systems, Schneider Electric, and ICONICS use Azure IoT to deliver the benefits of smart buildings.

Decreasing energy requirements

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that implementing smart building technology in an existing building can result in energy savings of 30–50 percent.2 For example, companies can combine data from occupancy sensors with data from HVAC and lighting systems to lower room




Azure Digital Twins: Powering the next generation of IoT connected solutions

Last month at Microsoft Build 2020, we announced the new features for Azure Digital Twins, the IoT platform that enables the creation of next-generation IoT connected solutions that model the real world. Today, we are announcing that these updated capabilities are now available in preview. Using the power of IoT, businesses have gained unprecedented insights into their assets. But as connected solutions continue to evolve, companies are looking for ways to create richer models of entire business environments, which is quite challenging even for sophisticated businesses.

Our goal with Azure Digital Twins is to make the creation of sophisticated digital twin solutions easy. is to make the creation of sophisticated digital twin solutions easy. With today’s announcement, you can apply your domain expertise on top of Azure Digital Twins to design and build comprehensive digital models of entire environments.

Using Azure Digital Twins, you can gain insights that drive better products, optimization of operations, cost reduction, and breakthrough customer experiences. And you can now do so across environments of all types, including buildings, factories, farms, energy networks, railways, stadiums—even entire cities.

What’s new?

We received a lot of valuable feedback from the Azure Digital Twins preview and we are




Town of Cary innovates flood prediction with IoT

This post was co-authored by Daniel Sumner, Worldwide Industry Director, Government—Smart Infrastructure at Microsoft.

According to Flood Safety, flooding is the most common type of natural disaster worldwide. It affects tens of millions of people around the world each year and causes, on average, more than $200 billion in damages. Many communities face flood-related challenges, and the Town of Cary in North Carolina, United States, is no different. Its flood-prone areas are affected by heavy rains, which are often exacerbated by the yearly Atlantic hurricane season. When the town sees excessive rainfall, its personnel often find themselves scrambling to address overflowing stormwater systems, but even a burst water main can create a spontaneous flood event.

Town of Cary parking lot during a flood event.

As a leader in innovative city solutions, the Town of Cary was already committed to using smart technology, data, and analytics to optimize city functions, drive economic growth, and improve the quality of life. Chief Information Officer, Nicole Raimundo, Smart City Strategist, Terry Yates, and Stormwater Operations Manager, Billy Lee, saw another opportunity: use technology to predict and manage flood events.

Envisioning a flood prediction solution

In October 2019, Cary’s leaders met with partners Microsoft




Introducing live video analytics from Azure Media Services—now in preview

Azure Media Services is pleased to announce the preview of a new platform capability called Live Video Analytics, or in short, LVA. LVA provides a platform for you to build hybrid applications with video analytics capabilities. The platform offers the capability of capturing, recording, and analyzing live video and publishing the results (which could be video and/or video analytics) to Azure Services in the cloud and/or the edge.

With this announcement, the LVA platform is now available as an Azure IoT Edge module via the Azure Marketplace. The module, referred to as, “Live Video Analytics on IoT Edge” is built to run on a Linux x86-64 edge device in your business location. This enables you to build IoT solutions with video analytics capabilities, without worrying about the complexity of designing, building, and operating a live video pipeline.

LVA is designed to be a “pluggable” platform, so you can integrate video analysis modules, whether they are custom edge modules built by you with open source machine learning models, custom models trained with your own data (using Azure Machine Learning or other equivalent services) or Microsoft Cognitive Services containers. You can combine LVA functionality with other Azure edge modules such as Stream




Azure Maps Creator now available in preview

As enterprises continue to evolve in their digital transformation journey, there is a need for augmenting Azure Maps content with project-specific and private business knowledge of places. Today we’re launching Azure Maps Creator in preview to extend location intelligence to indoor spaces.

Enterprises are taking advantage of Azure Maps capabilities to optimize business operations and transform their business strategy using location and map services. With IoT-powered systems delivering new and more accurate data than ever before, defining new patterns for taking advantage of location data findings is essential. Creator includes a new set of capabilities that allow an enterprise to securely create and use indoor maps that dynamically change as new events in spaces occur. The data is not used to improve Azure Maps, customers own and are in full control of the created map content, including defining how to secure access using Azure Maps authentication and authorization options. You can develop solutions for the general public or for selected authenticated users for virtually any indoor space such as offices, stores, factories, and hospitals for facility management, occupant and guest experiences, productivity tools, and more.

Azure Maps provides SDKs to easily build web and mobile applications with location and map




Virtual Build spotlights IoT updates and rollouts

As people around the globe adapt to new ways of working, the Microsoft Build 2020 conference took a new approach as well. Rather than gathering the developer community in person as planned, Microsoft shifted gears and put together 48 hours of streaming content for a virtual event.

Despite the new format, Microsoft Build’s goals remained the same: Connect our developers with the best of Microsoft so they can bring their ideas to life. For IoT, that included a lot of new innovations and training for developers, all geared toward simplifying IoT and empowering developers to build new breakthrough solutions.

On the training side, we’re especially excited to launch a new IoT certification to help build skills in the community and unlock the creativity of developers. We’ve also added some industry-leading capabilities with an all-new Azure Digital Twins release that can model just about any scenario.

Below is a roundup of the key news. I encourage you to click down into the individual announcements for more detail, and if you weren’t able to virtually attend the Microsoft Build conference, access the sessions online.

New IoT certification for developers

One of the biggest challenges for developers building IoT applications is acquiring the skills to