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The Internet of Things is steadily sneaking its way into our everyday life. From the wearable technology on your wrist that tracks your activity and speaks to your smartphone to controlling your thermostat through any device -- or even Nike's new self-lacing shoes -- connected devices are changing the way we live.

So, what is IoT?

SAP Mentor Alumni, craig.cmehil, sat down with me at TechEd Las Vegas to share the basics.

"Iot in general is the Internet of Things – it means everything and anything that can be connected together."

What can it do?

With IoT technology you can do things like have your refrigerator tell your phone that you’re out of certain groceries, or, start your car from your smartphone with the tap of a button – “that’s the world of IoT. That’s what IoT is.”

“From the SAP perspective, we offer services that help connect sensor technology and sensor data to SAP HANA as a platform. What these services allow us to do is take data from the sensor and feed it into an SAP HANA system and that allows us to use the HANA capabilities (such as Predictive Analytics) to create apps to be responsive to the data we’re receiving.”

How can someone get started?

“It’s very easy to get started. First off, you need to have a microcontroller (Ardunio or Tessel) and you need to have some sensors - whether its temperature or climate or what not. Based on your skill level, you have to be able to connect the sensor technology together to actually use it. Some people consider that to be very complicated, however, with some devices (like Tessel) there’s no hardware skills necessary and it’s very easy to get started.”

Once I have my hardware devices connected and I can read the data from the hardware, I need to be able to store the data somewhere, and of course, one of the best platforms to do this is our SAP HANA Platform.

You can access the IoT services offered from SAP right here. You can also find training and certification courses for SAP HANA Cloud Platform Internet of Things which covers topics from implementation and modeling to administration and operations.

And, IoT is available as a topic within SAP CodeJam (a hands-on coding event). There have already been almost 20 IoT-focused CodeJams hosted globally this year. “Basically, if they request it, I don’t care where they are – we’ll go!”

Want to see IoT in action? Check out this demo:

Craig shows you how temperature sensors and a fan interact and work together.

Are you ready to get started with IoT? Be sure to blog about it and share your experience with the community!