Category Archives : Internet of Things

27

Jun

Microsoft from GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit: New Azure innovations will advance the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge

Today, I gathered with the tech community in the Seattle area at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit to talk about how customers are using the cloud and what the future holds. I joined GeekWire’s Todd Bishop and Tom Krazit on stage for a fireside chat to share more about Microsoft’s vision for emerging cloud innovation, but I also got to connect with many of you directly. In those conversations, it became even more apparent just how many of you are turning to the intelligent cloud to explore how emerging innovation like serverless, blockchain, edge computing, and AI can help you create solutions that can change your business — and people’s lives.

At Microsoft, we’re continually releasing technology that’s inspired by our customers and what you tell us you need to make the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge a reality for your businesses. For example, you may need to build applications to work in remote areas with low connectivity. Or you need to store, access, and drive insights from your data faster because of competitive pressures. And, you need confidence that your data and applications will be secure, resilient, and highly available across the globe.

During my time with Tom and

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27

Jun

Expanding Azure Certified for IoT program for the intelligent edge

Three years ago, we launched the Azure Certified for IoT program to help customers ensure their device of choice was tested to work with Azure IoT technology. Since then, our customers and partners have embraced the benefits of bridging the cloud with IoT devices together. With their enthusiasm, we have grown Azure Certified for IoT into one of the largest hardware ecosystems in the industry, with more than 250 partners and 1,000 different devices and starter kits already discoverable in the Azure IoT device catalog.

With the emergence of the intelligent edge and hardware innovations, we are expanding the certification program to support a wide range of hardware from low powered, constrained devices to AI-capable industrial gateways. We introduced Azure IoT Edge as a fully supported edge offering over a year ago, supporting Windows and Linux devices, and have seen huge customer momentum with increasing use of devices at the edge.

“Intelligent computing with real-time analytics at the edge is a key trend going forward – and increasingly a business requirement in the IoT business.”

–  Tomoyasu Suzuki, President of Plat’Home Co., Ltd

Today, we are excited to announce certification of Azure IoT Edge devices in the Azure

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27

Jun

Expanding Azure Certified for IoT program for the intelligent edge

Three years ago, we launched the Azure Certified for IoT program to help customers ensure their device of choice was tested to work with Azure IoT technology. Since then, our customers and partners have embraced the benefits of bridging the cloud with IoT devices together. With their enthusiasm, we have grown Azure Certified for IoT into one of the largest hardware ecosystems in the industry, with more than 250 partners and 1,000 different devices and starter kits already discoverable in the Azure IoT device catalog.

With the emergence of the intelligent edge and hardware innovations, we are expanding the certification program to support a wide range of hardware from low powered, constrained devices to AI-capable industrial gateways. We introduced Azure IoT Edge as a fully supported edge offering over a year ago, supporting Windows and Linux devices, and have seen huge customer momentum with increasing use of devices at the edge.

“Intelligent computing with real-time analytics at the edge is a key trend going forward – and increasingly a business requirement in the IoT business.”

–  Tomoyasu Suzuki, President of Plat’Home Co., Ltd

Today, we are excited to announce certification of Azure IoT Edge devices in the Azure

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20

Jun

Location and Maps in Azure IoT Central powered by Azure Maps

Azure IoT Central brings the simplicity of SaaS for IoT with built-in support for IoT best practices and world class security and scalability with no cloud expertise required. We have been constantly adding features and true to the promise of SaaS applications, you can just start using new features right away to build production-grade applications without worrying about managing infrastructure.

This blog post is part of a series of blog posts you will start seeing for new features in Azure IoT Central in the upcoming weeks.

Azure IoT Central now leverages Azure Maps. A portfolio of geospatial functionalities natively integrated into Azure to enable users with fresh mapping data necessary to provide geographic context to their location aware IoT applications. We received several interests from public preview customers to leverage geospatial services for various use cases ranging from simply localizing their devices, validating location information, spatially referencing device locations on a map, to geofencing use cases around their devices. As any other property in Azure IoT Central, location metadata can be persisted on the cloud and updated either by the device itself (device properties) or the user (application properties). By integrating with Azure Maps, user can now give geographic context

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20

Jun

Location and Maps in Azure IoT Central powered by Azure Maps

Azure IoT Central brings the simplicity of SaaS for IoT with built-in support for IoT best practices and world class security and scalability with no cloud expertise required. We have been constantly adding features and true to the promise of SaaS applications, you can just start using new features right away to build production-grade applications without worrying about managing infrastructure.

This blog post is part of a series of blog posts you will start seeing for new features in Azure IoT Central in the upcoming weeks.

Azure IoT Central now leverages Azure Maps. A portfolio of geospatial functionalities natively integrated into Azure to enable users with fresh mapping data necessary to provide geographic context to their location aware IoT applications. We received several interests from public preview customers to leverage geospatial services for various use cases ranging from simply localizing their devices, validating location information, spatially referencing device locations on a map, to geofencing use cases around their devices. As any other property in Azure IoT Central, location metadata can be persisted on the cloud and updated either by the device itself (device properties) or the user (application properties). By integrating with Azure Maps, user can now give geographic context

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19

Jun

Enabling Smart Manufacturing with Edge Computing

Smart Manufacturing envisions a future where factory equipment can make autonomous decisions based on what’s happening on the factory floor. Businesses can more easily integrate all steps of the manufacturing process including design, manufacturing, supply chain and operation. This facilitates greater flexibility and reactivity when participating in competitive markets. Enabling this vision requires a combination of related technologies such as IoT, AI/machine learning, and Edge Computing. In this article, we will introduce Edge Computing and discuss its role in enabling Smart Manufacturing.

What is Edge Computing?

Put simply, Edge Computing is about taking code that runs in the cloud and running it on local devices or close to it. Like in a gateway device or a PC sitting next to the device.

To understand Edge Computing it helps to think of an IoT solution as generally having three components:

Things like IoT devices, which generate sensor data. Insights you extract from this data. Actions you perform based on these insights to deliver some sort of value.

With Edge Computing, you move the insights and actions components from the cloud to the device. In other words, you bring some of the code used to process and extract insights from the data,

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07

Jun

Using STMicroelectronics starter kits to connect to Azure IoT in minutes

Microsoft partners with silicon vendors such as STMicroelectronics to simplify and accelerate the development of embedded systems, so our customers can move projects from proof of concepts to production faster. One of the most common issues in IoT project development is the passage from proof of concept to production, from a handful of devices to deployment and management of devices at an IoT scale and from development hardware to mass produced silicon.

STMicroelectronics offers a wide range of IoT hardware along with pre-integrated software, a powerful development ecosystem and valuable starter kits. With these, connecting to Azure IoT Hub the cloud platform, monitor, and manage billions of IoT assets using one of the Microsoft Azure Certified ST devices takes minutes and you don’t have to write any code! This magic is possible because of the integration ST provides under the cover. For example, STM32 IoT Discovery Kit Node is an Arm® Cortex®-M4-core-based developer kit and sporting a full set of low power wireless connectivity options and environmental, motion and ranging sensors. FP-CLD-AZURE1 is an STM32Cube function pack that ST developed for this kit. Azure IoT C SDK is integrated into the middleware of this function pack, which enables direct and

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05

Jun

Use Azure Data Lake Analytics to query AVRO data from IoT Hub

Recently a customer asked me how to read blob data produced from the routing capability of Azure IoT Hub. To provide this customer with a complete answer, I put together a step-by-step guide that I am happy to share with you in the video below.

One of the common patterns of Internet of Things applications is called “cold path” and consists of storing all data produced by IoT devices in the cloud for later processing. To make such an implementation trivial, Azure IoT Hub supports routing of messages coming from devices directly to cloud storage services. IoT Hub can also apply simple rules based on both properties, and the message body can route messages to various custom endpoints of your choice. IoT Hub will write blob content in AVRO format, which has both message body and message properties. Great for data/message preservation, AVRO can be challenging for querying and processing the data. Here is a suggested solution to process this data.

Many of the big data patterns can be used for processing non-relational data files in custom file formats. Focusing on cost and deployment simplicity, Azure Data Lake Analytics (ADLA) is one of the only “pay per query” big data

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04

Jun

Regenerative Maps alive on the Edge

This week Mapbox announced it will integrate its Vision SDK with the Microsoft Azure IoT platform, enabling developers to build innovative applications and solutions for smart cities, the automotive industry, public safety, and more. This is an important moment in the evolution of map creation. The Mapbox Vision SDK provides artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for identifying objects through semantic segmentation – a technique of machine learning using computer vision that classifies what things are through a camera lens. Semantic segmentation on the edge for maps means objects such as stop signs, crosswalks, speed limits signs, people, bicycles, and other moving objects can be identified at run time through a camera running AI under the covers. These classifications are largely referred to as HD (high definition) maps.

HD maps are more machine friendly as an input to autonomous vehicles. Once the HD map objects are classified, and because other sensors like GPS and accelerometer are onboard, the location of these objects can be registered and placed onto a map, or in the advancement of “living maps,” registered into the map at run time. This is an important concept and where edge computing intersects with location to streamline the digitization of our

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30

May

Digging in with Azure IoT: Our interactive developer guide

The Internet of Things (IoT) presents many compelling opportunities for developers With the right tools and guidance, it doesn’t need to be intimidating. The conceptual and technical differences between IoT and traditional web and application are relatively easy to grasp. Plus, Microsoft offers a full range of managed services to make it even easier, while enabling you to experiment and scale. If your main skillset is in the Microsoft ecosystem, you can jump right in with Visual Studio Code, .NET, and Azure. If you prefer other languages and tools, our open-source SDKs will enable you to work with Azure solutions while staying in your comfort zone. Either way, you can get started quickly with our Azure IoT developer guide that will take you through common application patterns and tutorials that will have you up and running fast.

The IoT Application pattern

When it comes to knowing where to start, it can help to have a conceptual framework that organizes services and technologies in a logical way. We tend to think of IoT architecture as being divided into three main categories, each of which has considerations distinct from traditional development architectures:

Things: The devices and sensors in the field that are

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