Adafruit’s WICED Feather was already a highly capable, portable messaging device with built in support for not just raw UDP and TCP sockets, but MQTT support, helper classes to work with Adafruit IO, and a lot of other goodness. As of the latest release of FeatherLib, WICED now also supports Amazon Web Services (AWS)! Why does that matter? Read on for details!
AWS is important because it takes all that’s good about MQTT and adds a high level of reliability and security on top of it. The key advantage (and complication!) of using AWS is that BOTH ends of the communication get verified using certificates. With something like HTTPs or MQTTs, you check the certificate on the server to make sure you’re talking to who you think you are, but the server has to blindly assume the device it thinks it’s talking to is being honest. AWS adds another certificate layer here on the device side, where the individual sensor nodes (the WICED Feather in this case) also have their own TLS certificate, so that the MQTT broker has a very high level of confidence it’s talking the the device (and only the device) it trusts and thinks it’s talking to. That’s easy to overlook thinking about IoT, but the security implications are pretty huge!
It was a really big technical hurdle for us to implement this, and to our knowledge it’s the only small, portable, embedded, non Linux development platform out there that can do this (feel free to ping us in the comments if we missed something), and we’re really excited about what people will do with WICED + AWS! To give it a try, get the latest version of FeatherLib, and have a look at our easy to use Adafruit WICED Feather AWS Learning Guide, which will explain everything you need to do to get this setup in under an hour!