IoT Notes: Smart Bricks, Open Standards, and IoT for Cows

January 17th, 2017 | Brian Tol | IoT Notes

With the holidays firmly in the rearview mirror, SpinDance is looking forward to an exciting 2017. The IoT space continues to rapidly evolve, so we thought we’d try something new this year: in addition to long form blog posts, we’re going to start highlighting interesting news and technology in a series we’re calling IoT Notes.

SpinDance operates at the intersection of technology, business, and user experience. Those are the lenses we’ll be using to comment on the state of IoT. We’d love to hear from you; and if you have an idea for a topic or a reaction, please drop us a note at or tweet us at @SpinDanceInc.

IoT Bricks… The Good Kind

Sometimes software can “brick” your devices, but this time around, that’s a good thing. SpinDance engineer Chris Samuelson, and Pete Hoffswell, Broadband manager at the Holland Board of Public Works, are working to develop LoRa-enabled brick pavers to help monitor Holland’s snow melt system, the largest in the country. They both recently presented at the annual StartUp Weekend sponsored by Start Garden in Grand Rapids, MI.

New to LoRa? Chris wrote up an excellent tutorial on describing how to make a low-cost, single channel LoRa gateway using a $10 module and a Raspberry Pi….

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Alexa Integration

Whirlpool Introduces Alexa Integration and More At CES 2017

January 10th, 2017 | Brian Tol | Engineering,News

The Consumer Electronics Show just wrapped up, and, as usual, there is a massive amount of IoT news to sift through. There were thousands of products announced, and miles of press coverage to read. We’ve been closely watching CES back at SpinDance HQ, and in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing our thoughts on the winners and losers, and what CES says about where IoT is heading.

But today, we wanted to focus on one of our favorite clients, Whirlpool, and highlight some of the announcements they made last week. We’ve been working hard to support their IoT initiatives, and we wanted to discuss some of the technology behind the announcements.

Alexa Integration

Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa was huge presence at CES this year, and Whirlpool announced they are integrating 20 appliances with the service in 2017. It is a well-architected system: Amazon does the heavy lifting of voice UI and provides a clean API to developers. We’ll be blogging about Alexa later this month, and our approach to integrating major appliances, IoT platforms and voice services. We’ve been testing this in house for a while, and we think consumers are going to love it.

Dash Replenishment For the All-One Washer Dryer Combo

An all-in-one washer/dryer combo? Sign us up! Beyond the obvious labor saving benefits, this appliance includes integration with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment service….

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