So after landing in Vegas and meeting up with some other SAP employees at the airport, we share a limo to the hotel (we saved SAP at least $30). We make it to the hotel and get some sleep.
The IoT Lab- Hands On Area
Around noon we start setting up in the hacker’s lounge. The goal of the IoT Lab portion of the hacker’s lounge is to simply to show people how easy and inexpensive it is to create an IoT prototype, and then to get that information into the HCP and run analytics on it To show this, we created a 15 min self directed tutorial. The attendee is shown how to connect a simple temperature and get that into HANA. Once there, they can analyze and visualize the data in many different ways.
Most of the people went through some set of these reactions: 1. What is IoT? 2. SAP does IoT? I thought that you were just ERP. 3. I am a software person (or marketing, or sales, etc), I couldn’t possibly do that. 4. Wait this has to be faked. I am getting the real time data from the little temperature sensor in this graph? 5. Wow, that was easy. How can I do this at my work. After that, people would usually hang around and about their ideas for IoT projects at their office or home, and then they would ask, “What is that?” and I would answer, “That is our IoT Scarecrow.”
The IoT Scarecrow
When we were approached about working in the IoT Lab, we were asked to build something that would show how easy it is to build something bigger than just a temperature sensor and do it in a live, hack-a-thon style. So we wanted to do something large enough so that it could be seen, but still works with the IoT Agriculture theme. Since was near the end of October, and Halloween was coming up, we thought IoT Scarecrow.
So we did some planning before hand and then at the event, it pretty much threw out the planning and built something very different. (For some reason, at hack-a-thons, all of your planning goes out the window once you arrive at the event). We went out as other booths were setting up and started looking for stuff that we could use, wood, cardboard, string, etc. We found a lot of items, and that night we made a run to Home Depot.
So fast-forward 3 day we had built something that could move its arms and head. His eyes lit up in response to motion and you could tweet commands to him. He was able to be connected to the IoT Garden and was able to monitor the moisture in the plants, and decide when to water based on the current and future weather conditions. And then turn on the water and monitor its flow. But probably; the most popular thing that we added was the last thing tadded, it was the nerf gun.
We watched John Astill’s demo jam and asked if we could borrow his nerf gun and he graciously allowed us. So the IoTScarecrow was able to scare birds by moving his arms and chase away squirrels by firing a nerf gun. Not bad for just a couple of days work.
It was an amazing 8 days where we able to show a lot of people that SAP is not just ERP and spreadsheets. We are Big Data and HANA. And the best way to show off what big data and HANA actually looks like is IoT. It also shows the new way of thinking. There is so much cross silos motion that IoT brings out. A solution that works in one industry could very well work in another with just a small change.
If you missed us in Vegas, please come and visit us in Berlin!