Dear makers of smart home things. Yeah, you with that bright idea of an IoT Candle. Here's an SDK from Amazon

Management software for smart devices to ease entry into ecosystem


Updated This week, Amazon announced a software layer to help Internet-of-Things makers integrate Amazon Device SDKs with their IoT gear, further complicating the already confusing technical landscape of dubiously secured, privacy-challenged network-ready appliances.

Amazon Common Software (ACS) for Devices is offered as a preview to developers willing to ask the Seattle-based server rental and tchotchke shop for admittance.

It offers an API integration layer for common IoT device functions, like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, device-to-cloud and intra-device networking, device management (metrics, logging, updates), and audio/video handling.

It doesn't include code intended to handle the higher-level, user-facing functions addressed by Amazon Device SDKs, like the Frustration-Free Setup SDK, the AWS IoT Device SDKs, and the planned Alexa Voice Service Device SDK.

While ACS for Devices shares some of the goals of the Pelion platform backed by Arm and Intel, it's also a common foundation layer for Amazon-friendly IoT hardware, simplifying integration with the above-mentioned Bezos-aligned software frameworks.

“At Amazon, we understand the complexity and effort needed to develop and ship a high-quality connected device," said Joshua Danovitz, director of ACS, in a blog post. "ACS makes proven software from Amazon devices easier to use for device makers who want to quickly launch a device supporting Amazon Device SDKs, including FFS and AWS IoT SDKs."

Danovitz pitches ASC as a way to help hardware makers develop devices with features people care about quickly, without getting stuck in the technical weeds.

Device makers have a variety of other options for adjacent platform ecosystems. There's Apple's HomeKit Accessory Protocol Specification, which for commercial products also requires certification and an undisclosed royalty under Apple's MFi Program. There's the Thread Group, which Apple joined in 2018. There's Zigbee, another IoT networking protocol that's royalty-free (despite the existence of a royalty-free variation) but offers certification to paying members. And there's Z-Wave, still another IoT device networking standard.

Illustration of a battlefield, post-war

The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards

READ MORE

Thread now looks like the winning IoT device networking protocol, but the dust hasn't completely settled.

Last December, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Zigbee launched a working group called Project Connected Home over IP. Managed by the Zigbee Alliance (but separate from Zigbee 3.0/Pro protocol), the group intends to hammer out "a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet."

They're doing so because compatibility and security have been scarce since home automation became a popular idea. The fear is that in the longer term this could seriously harm the overall market.

Perhaps not coincidentally, one day later, the Z-Wave Alliance, left out of Project Connected Home over IP, announced a plan to open up Z-Wave spec and separate from Silicon Labs, the company that controls the technology.

All this, so home automators can shout, "Alexa, bake this 3lb salmon" at their smart ovens instead of manually setting the temperature and time when they're standing oven-side, placing the fish within.

The Register asked an Amazon spokesperson to provide more details on ASC and its licensing terms. We've not heard back. ®

Update: In an email sent to The Register after this story was filed, an Amazon spokesperson said that access to ACS is governed by the Amazon Developer Services Agreement and the Program Materials License Agreement.

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Assange can go to UK Supreme Court (again) to fend off US extradition bid

    Top Brit judges may consider whether an American prison is just too much

    Julian Assange has won a technical victory in his ongoing battle against extradition from the UK to the United States, buying him a few more months in the relative safety of Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh.

    Today at London's High Court, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Burnett approved a question on a technical point of law, having refused Assange immediate permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The WikiLeaker's lawyers had asked for formal permission to pose this legal conundrum about Assange's likely treatment in US prisons to the Supreme Court:

    Continue reading
  • They see us Cinnamon Rolling, they're rating: GeckoLinux incorporates kernel 5.16 with familiar installation experience

    A nice, clean community distro that works well

    Most distros haven't got to 5.15 yet, but openSUSE's downstream project GeckoLinux boasts 5.16 of the Linux kernel and the latest Cinnamon desktop environment.

    Some of the big-name distros have lots of downstream projects. Debian has been around for decades so has umpteen, including Ubuntu, which has dozens of its own, including Linux Mint, which is arguably more popular a desktop than its parent. Some have only a few, such as Fedora. As far as we know, openSUSE has just the one – GeckoLinux.

    The SUSE-sponsored community distro has two main editions, the stable Leap, which has a slow-moving release cycle synched with the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise; and Tumbleweed, its rolling-release distro, which gets substantial updates pretty much every day. GeckoLinux does its own editions of both: its remix of Leap is called "GeckoLinux Static", and its remix of Tumbleweed is called "GeckoLinux Rolling".

    Continue reading
  • Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines

    Winter Windows Is Coming

    It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations.

    The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year.

    Continue reading
  • Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

    *Don't do this

    MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available.

    The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission.

    Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps.

    Continue reading
  • Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

    An ISO image you can burn or drop onto a USB key

    The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest.

    It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

    SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022