AWS adds dedicated analytics service for IoT data

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It wouldn’t be a conference without some discussion of Internet of Things, one of the hot up and coming technologies. The thing about IoT is that it generates a ton of data and the question becomes how do you make sense of it all. To help, AWS launched a dedicated IoT analytics service called AWS IoT Analytics today at its re:Invent customer conference in Las Vegas. According to Tara Walker in a company blog post, this is about providing a way to manage all of that data. “With the AWS IoT Analytics service, you can process messages, gather and store large amounts of device data, as well as, query your data. Also, the new AWS IoT Analytics service feature integrates with Amazon Quicksight for visualization of your data and brings the power of machine learning through integration with Jupyter Notebooks.” That last part could come in handy when building a data model based on the data coming from your sensors or devices, and AWS also announced SageMaker today, a tool for building, deploying and managing data models that also includes support for Jupyter Notebooks. Because of the sheer volume of data involved, Amazon created a dedicated service instead of letting customers deal with IoT data in a more general tool like QuickSight. That could be because it requires a predictive element, rather than one that looks back at what happened. For example, you could use IoT analytics in an industrial setting to determine when a machine might require maintenance before it actually breaks down. That would allow you take down the machine on your terms, rather than as an emergency situation. The IoT analytics tool lets you gather, store and then query the messages coming from your IoT sensors, while extracting specific sets of data on a regular basis. Amazon launched Amazon QuickSight, its generalized business intelligence service in 2015.

Amazon is hosting AWS Re:INVENT today, its developer conference for all things AWS. And the company just announced a promising new service called Amazon Transcribe. The service is now available as a preview and goes beyond many automated transcribing services.

Now that video and audio have overtaken the web, it has become harder to parse information inside those media formats. One way to do it is to transcribe the audio part and turn it into text. Text is indexable, searchable and opens new possibilities.

With Amazon Transcribe, the company has built a speech recognition engine. It lets you turns an audio file stored on your Amazon S3 account into grammatically correct text.

Amazon Transcribe works in English and Spanish for now. But the company promised that many more languages will be added in the coming weeks.

The secret sauce behind Amazon Transcribe is that the service can intelligently format and add punctuation. The service can also recognize multiple speakers and adds timestamps so that you can isolate each part of a conversation.

Amazon mentioned multiple use cases. For instance, Transcribe can help you create automatic subtitles for online videos. It’s also a good way to log customer support calls and analyze them.

The service works with low-bitrate audio files, such as call recordings, and you can add your own vocabulary if you want to help the service understands product names.

Amazon Transcribe will also be useful with Amazon Translate and Amazon Comprehend, two new services announced today. This way, you can turn audio recordings into meaningful data.

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