Hype around Internet of Things technology can make it easy to lose sight of what IoT actually looks like. But a modest display in the Hackers’ Lounge at  SAP TechEd && d-code (#SAPtd) 2014 last month showed how big these useful tools could be.

SAP TechEd IoT VIDEO 11-04-2014-1.jpg
This sensor-filled water system demonstrates how Internet of Things technology can help off-site building managers remotely manage and fix problems, such as blockages and leaks.

“What it really does is demonstrate the possibility of being able to take sensor data off of anything — whether it’s a water pump, manufacturing line, production line — whatever it might be,” Michael Phorn, SAP program lead for Internet of Things products, said during a demonstration in Las Vegas. “Take that and push it up into the HANA cloud database.”

In this case, it was indeed a water pump. Phorn showed how buildings in the future could better manage their water supplies, with sensors throughout the system constantly measuring water flow and pressure, as well as energy outputs of water pumps. Property managers can view the system data from off-site, instead of being stuck in a steamy boiler room checking gauges all day.

“This demo proved the power of sensor technology and how it drives safety and maintenance efficiency across the enterprise,” Tim Clark noted in his blog post about the Hackers’ Lounge. “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.”

The demonstration’s science fair-style setup belied the sophistication and efficacy across industries that IoT technology offers. This system would let managers fix problems remotely — or install applications that can recognize problems and correct them automatically.

Check out the video of this demonstration here.

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