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You’ve heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), right? If you’re like me, it’s not so easy to wrap your head around the myriad use cases of connecting everything or why it’s even necessary. This week at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, I got schooled at the IoT Lab in the Hacker’s Lounge. And now I am a believer. Even more surprising is the secret sauce to make it run simple– SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

Demo 1: Water Pump

Similar to the Alliander demo showcased in the Day 2 keynote, this demo also proved the power of sensor technology and how it drives safety and maintenance efficiency across the enterprise. In essence, this water pump is constantly being monitored with various sensors. If one pump fails, a sensor kicks off an alert to rout the water flow to the back up pump. All pump activity data is being collected and pushed to the SAP HANA Cloud Platform where it’s easy to analyze data and identify patterns to avoid catastrophic situations and perform predictive maintenance.

Demo 2: Augmented Reality Solutions

It was a blast getting hands on action with SAP’s recent augmented reality announcements. With SAP AR Warehouse, the user’s Google Glass is authenticated on the back end via a temporary QR code. Once authenticated, the user/picker might get their first task of the day beamed to their glasses. The system confirms the picker’s activities and the picker must answer “yes” or “no” via voice recognition before getting their next task. The Service Technician app was just as impressive. Simple directions with detailed 3D images hover right before your eyes, making maintenance a breeze. Can’t fix something? No problem, users can “Call An Expert” (who sees exactly what you see in the glasses) to help resolve the maintenance request. And yes, the SAP HANA Cloud can be used to connect to the gateway.

Demo 3: Connected Retail

I covered this delicious demo at a prior event. For a refresher, see “SAP Gets the Munchies at Mobile World Congress.”

Demo 4: Remote Asset Management

When it comes to protecting the safety and well being of workers who operate heavy machinery, there’s really no arguing the critical role of remote asset management. The Day 1 keynote featuring Steve Lucas was a home run in this regard as we got an up close and personal look at just how busy and potentially hazardous some working environments can be. “Anywhere there are heavy assets involved like in mining and ports, it creates unsafe situations,” Severin Kezeu CEO of SK Solutions told me. SK Solutions orchestrates SAP edge and cloud technologies used for real time tracking info. If something happens to a crane operator, for instance, sensors can alert co-workers on the ground and also divert a potential accident by taking over the controls. Sensors could also reveal the integrity of the crane before it’s fully operational to ensure it’s set up safely. There are literally hundreds of working cases out there in the world today making remote asset management “one of the most sophisticated examples of Internet of Things,” according to Severin.

Demo 5: Scarecrow

SAP TechEd attendees are having fun making this friendly scarecrow move and blink simply by tweeting #iotscarecrow and $blink. Now imagine how many crows would run scared if IoT enabled scarecrows populated cornfields around the world? Maybe they would have to move their arms to scare away a bolder variety of bird? Or in a different agriculture scenario, maybe less pesticides could be used with more targeted weed control via sensors? That's the whole idea around this demo - to get folks to open up their minds and think of all the incredible possibilities that sensor technologies, IoT and the ease of sending data to the SAP HANA Cloud platform offers.

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