The Internet of Things will become an economic game-changer for companies across multiple industries and here at SAP we decided to place ourselves at the forefront of the opportunity using HANA Cloud Platform – Internet of Things.
The enormous economic potential of IoT is pushing the technology towards the top of enterprise agendas as more and more connected “things” are linked together across enterprise and domestic networks. Nash Gajic and I started to discuss this idea about a month ago and we tried to come up with ways in which we can leverage HCP IoT services. We have recently conducted an internal workshop in Sydney with the main topic around Climate Change – codename Project Helios. Climate change fuels debates in large part because it inspires people to think in terms of scarcity. If they admit a problem exists, they might have to give up luxuries they enjoy to reduce their carbon footprints.
The primary goal of the Project Helios was to showcase how HANA Cloud Platform can help in tackling the climate changes. In fact, we wanted to showcase that IoT advancements can be quick, cost-effective and easy to deploy. One of the main objectives of the workshop was to keep it as simple as possible without actually getting anyone to write a line of code and to deliver it within 30 minutes.
Here is what we came up with – high-level Architecture, which shows the various HCP services:
- IoT Services: Connect to IoT Devices and persist the sensor messages in HCP
- Development Services: Use the development tools in HCP to build device registration application & real-time geospatial dashboard
- Mobile Services: Build mobile applications which will enable users to view the dashboard in mobile devices
- API Management: Expose the sensor data as APIs for consumption my research institutes/students
To start with we decided to use an IoT device – ESP8266 NodeMCU purely for the below reasons
- An easy to use IoT platform
- In-built Wifi capability
- Low power
- USB Connection
- Breadboard friendly
- An excellent way to demonstrate & prototype IoT applications
- Connect any type of sensors available in the market
- Low cost – $5
We pre-programed each of the devices based on geo-coordinate locations of their respective cities. Hence, nobody had to install an editor and write a piece of code.
We used a low cost digital temperature & humidity sensor – DHT22.
Since gases like Carbon-di-oxide plays a significant role in Greenhouse effect, we also could have used gas sensors like CO2 sensors shown below.
We placed all the items into a box and handed it out to each of the team along with a circuit diagram to setup the device.
Participants were provided with an HTML5 application to register their devices. This application uses the HCP IoT services OData API to create a device in the IoT Services. This application tied each of the registered devices to the message type/Device type which was already setup in the HCP account by us. The application would provide a Device ID and oAuth Token as soon as they submit the name for their device.
Once the IoT Device is plugged into power, it would request for the Device ID & oAuth Token and start streaming the temperature and humidity sensor readings to HCP. Participants can view the status of their device by going to another HTML5 application which provides the sensor readings shown against their city in real-time.
We also provided a mobile application (iOS/Android) which participants could download and view the same results from their mobile devices.
It was great to see all the participants successfully setting up their IoT devices with HCP within 30 minutes. This is just a primer and we hope to get more sensors attached to this and in few months’ time we should be able to see more information coming out of these devices from across the globe.
This would not have been possible without a great team work to get this out in a short time frame. It was great to work with some amazing colleagues (who are renowned in this space) each of us trying to make this solution as simple as possible.