What do smart farming, health and safety, and utilities have in common? These are just some of the scenarios where you might find new applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) – as imagined by the more than 21,000 participants in a recent online course called “Touch IoT with SAP Leonardo.” The course, held June 7 through July 31 on the openSAP learning platform, introduced participants to emerging technologies like blockchain, predictive analytics, drones, and artificial intelligence – all part of the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system.
The newly acquired skills were put to the test in an IoT prototype challenge, where learners reimagined a common scenario based on an IoT solution. Each prototype was required to include a “story” based on Design Thinking methodology, persona, and user experience journey. A total of 1,580 prototypes were submitted for review. Of these, five were selected as winners of the challenge, each winner receiving an Intel NUC Mini-PC (courtesy of SAP Partner Intel) to advance their interest in the Internet of Things.
These winning prototypes demonstrate that the future of IoT is about more than connecting things. The surprising truth is that is also connects people – through empathy, knowledge, and shared resources. SAP partnered with online micro-lending platform Kiva.org to give the top 200 learners the opportunity to fund an entrepreneur of their choice with a $25 stipend. “People often think about the Internet of Things as a technology that brings connectivity to inanimate objects,” says course developer Bob Caswell, senior product manager, SAP. “But there’s a human side too. The Internet of Things is at its best when it empowers and connects people to live better. In that spirit, partnering with Kiva.org was a great way to remind the community that IoT is not only about connecting things, but also people.”
Read on to find out the story behind two of the winning prototypes. You can also view the top 200 submissions on the SAP Community.
Prototype: Diabetes Care
For the more than 422 million adults who have diabetes, self-care can be time consuming and daunting. The patient likely has no medical skills but must nonetheless accurately measure his blood sugar, calculate the insulin dosage, and adjust his insulin pump accordingly. “They are not specialized, but the responsibility is put on them to measure and calculate their insulin dose, or go to the hospital. This takes some time and can be risky,” explains Vivek Krishnadas, IT technical consultant at Accenture and developer of the Diabetes Care prototype (watch the video below). Krishnadas was inspired to create this IoT prototype based on what he learned about people’s diabetic care requirements in daily life. He says, “Even simple things, like driving or going for a run, can be a challenge and they have to plan around it because of their condition.”
By wearing a “connected” insulin device, the patient is able to share data with an experienced medical professional who can monitor the patient remotely and administer medication via the device. Additionally, artificial intelligence can augment the solution by reading data and patterns to provide automated diabetes care, easing life greatly for the patient. “They don’t have to frequently go to the hospital because the IoT device provides all the data that the doctor needs,” says Krishnadas.
Krishnadas chose a project on the Kiva platform called Impact Carbon that aimed to provide drinking water to children in Africa. “I looked for things that can have maximum impact. In this case it was for a school and I knew that it would help a lot of kids” he says. “It was really a privilege to be part of that initiative.”
Prototype: Mushroom Farm Manager
Mushroom Farm Manager is a smart farming solution to help farmers monitor the growing conditions within their mushroom tunnels, control stock levels, and track deliveries (watch the video below). IoT sensors within the mushroom tunnels and on delivery trucks provide information to the Mushroom Farm Manager app, which in turn enables farmers to decide to increase production levels to meet demand or scale back in order to stop food waste. Not only the farmer benefits from a real-time IoT solution, but customers do as well by receiving good quality mushrooms in a timely manner. Aoife O’Dwyer, UX Designer at SAP and developer of the prototype, says, “IoT provides an ideal solution because of the sensors, which allow to track the temperature of the mushrooms when they are growing and in delivery.”
In developing her prototype, O’Dwyer tapped into the firsthand knowledge and experience within her family. “My parents actually have a mushroom farm,” she says. “Watching them and listening to their problems is where the idea came from.”
In choosing an entrepreneur to fund through Kiva, O’Dwyer took a pragmatic approach by focusing on the section of projects that were expiring soon. “I found a few that just needed the $25 to close their project before it expired,” she recalls, when funding Kenya ECLOF. “I picked my favorite one of those because I thought it would be good to close a project out.”
Find out more about the other winning IoT prototypes – Beehive App, Connected Grid, and Smart Boiler – at the SAP News Center.
This article originally appeared on the SAP News Center.