I know, I used the buzzword IoT in my title above. Stay with me though! We think about IoT as a link between a physical device (your Nest thermostat for example) and the digital world (your Nest app on your iPhone), but it is so much more. While we have been working with many IoT providers such as Current by GE we’ve also fundamentally changed how our backend APIs work to embrace this messaging and communication platform.
Using AWS IoT Services everything that happens in our backend API can alert our front end apps to their status. This ties very nicely into our Unity front-end Smart World Professional application because it can tell you exactly what is happening to your data. Uploading a detailed Revit model? The conversion to glTF occurs in the background, but you know exactly where the process is and exactly what is going on. Those throbber graphics web apps throw up while they wait for a response from the API are worthless. Is the conversion process two thirds the way through or just 10%? Makes a big difference don’t you think?
Where this really starts to matter is our analytics engine, Mapalyze. If I’m running a line of sight analysis for a project in downtown Chicago, there is a ton that is going on from the 3D models of all the buildings to trees, cars and the rest that can affect what you can see and can’t see. Or detailed climate analysis where there are so many variables from the sun, weather (wind, temperature, rain) and human impacts that these models can take a very long time to run. By building the AWS IoT platform into our backend, we can provide updates on the status of any app, not just ours. So if you want to call Smart World Professional Mapalyze from within Grasshopper or QGIS, you won’t get a black box.
In the end what this means is Smart World Professional is “just another IoT device” that you will be able to bring into your own workflows. Really how this is all supposed to work, isn’t it? For those who want to get deeper on how we’re doing this, read up on MQTT, there is a standard under here that everyone can work with even if you’re not on the AWS platform.