A leaked document and FCC filings show Amazon is working on a new industrial monitoring service called ‘AWS Thor’ that can predict when machines will break down (AMZN)

Andy Jassy

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Amazon is developing a new service that can help monitor data produced from large industrial facilities and predict when they need maintenance, according to an internal document viewed by Business Insider. 

Internally codenamed “AWS Thor,” in reference to the Amazon Web Services cloud division and the hammer-wielding Viking god, the new service is designed to help companies glean data from their industrial buildings, like manufacturing plants, and improve their operating efficiency. 

“Thor is a machine learning service which uses temperature, sound, and vibration measurements to predict when a machine is likely to require maintenance before interruption occurs,” says an internal Amazon document, obtained by Business Insider. “This allows customers to better plan for maintenance, and prevents unexpected decreases in outputs from the machinery.”

Thor is expected to launch in October, though the exact timeline could change, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company is also considering a name change to “Monitron” when it officially launches, this person said. The core engineering team for Thor is based in the Netherlands, and Amazon’s VP of artificial intelligence Swami Sivasubramanian is overseeing the project.

Amazon’s representative didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The development of Thor signifies Amazon’s growing ambition in what is commonly referred to as the “Industrial Internet of Things” — or a system that connects buildings to the internet, and helps collect and analyze real-time data about the performance of their machinery and equipment. In July, Amazon rolled out a new cloud platform targeting this space, called SiteWise, and mentioned Volkswagen and Bayer AG, among others, as early customers. 

Companies that run facilities with large machinery find such connected services useful as they can help improve efficiency and save costs. The industrial IoT space is estimated to be worth $949 billion by 2025, growing at a 30% annual growth rate, according to Grand View Research. Nearly 80% of global enterprise decision-makers said they plan to use IoT systems more in the next two years, according to a 2019 Microsoft survey.

 ‘Vibration/temperature sensor’

Amazon has recently tested Thor in Sweden and hopes to commercialize it soon, according to filings submitted to the Federal Communications Commission last month. 

The filings do not specify exactly what Thor is intended for, but hints it may be compatible with a wireless monitoring device, noting it will be used in an “industrial environment.” The tests involved a small wireless device, measuring about 2 inches by 0.8 inches, that can be plugged into the machinery or equipment used at large facilities, it said.

In the filings, Amazon disclosed that TUV Rheinland, a Swedish wireless lab that specializes in connected devices, conducted the tests. It also requests confidentiality for certain parts of the tests, even after the company starts “marketing and selling the device,” because it doesn’t want to give “an unfair commercial advantage” to its competitors.

“The device is a vibration/temperature sensor that will transmit sensor data via Bluetooth Low Energy to a gateway,” the filings say. “It will be attached to motors, gearboxes or bearings …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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