Innovations in Housewares – Recap of IHHS 2019

April 5th, 2019 | Jeff Ekdom | Events

The SpinDance team had a great opportunity, yet again, to attend this year’s International Home + Housewares Show located at Chicago’s incredible McCormick Place Convention Center. As the largest housewares-only event in the world, the event attracts thousands of manufacturers, retailers, product developers, designers, and technologists who gather each year to release their newest ideas and innovations in houseware products. SpinDance was excited to be a part of the event, meet up with current customers and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the housewares industry.

Located in the Lakeside Building of McCormick Place, both the “Wired + Well” Expo Hall and the Smart Home Pavilion hosted companies from around the world showcasing their high-tech innovations for every room of the home.

Wired + Well Expo

In the Expo Hall, hundreds of companies – large and small – presented their newest products within the electronics and home healthcare space. This included everything from the classics like the KitchenAid Stand Mixer all the way to never-before-seen products like Gourmia’s new pressure cooker, which includes a built-in refrigeration system to keep your food chilled until you are ready to cook.


Smart Home Pavilion

Walking back through to the Smart Home Pavilion, which housed smart home innovations,…

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Roadmap to Success: An IoT Symposium

April 2nd, 2019 | Marcie Palmer | Events

IoT is Growing – Successful Projects Take Knowledge and Experience

The Internet of Things continues to explode. Over a billion new connected devices were installed in 2018, and spending on IoT is expected to top $1 trillion globally by 2020. The journey to a successful IoT strategy is not without its challenges, however: only 15% of business leaders believe their initial IoT projects were successful.

SpinDance invites you to buck that trend by joining us for our 2nd annual IoT symposium on May 6, 2019 at Prince Conference Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. At this event, you’ll hear about the latest trends in IoT, learn how to systematically build an IoT strategy, see case studies from a variety of industries, and network with others on various stages of the IoT journey. This one-day educational event will give executives, marketers, engineers and IoT professionals the framework and inspiration needed to achieve success in IoT.

Event Itinerary

8:00-9:00 am  Check-in, Continental Breakfast, Networking

9:00-10:00 am  Trends in IoT presented by Brian Tol, VP of Engineering, SpinDance

10:00-11:30 am  Breakout Sessions (Choice of Session – Descriptions Below)

11:30 am-12:30 pm  Lunch

12:30-1:30 pm  Customer Journey – Jason Mathew, Sr. Director, Global Connected Strategy, Whirlpool

1:30-2:30 pm   Customer Journey – Dana Lowell, Global Director, Technology Scouting &…

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SpinDance Named 50 Most Promising IoT Solution Providers 2019

March 22nd, 2019 | Tom Miller | News,SpinDance

SpinDance Named to 50 Most Promising IoT Solution Providers 2019

We’re excited for SpinDance to be recognized by CIO Review as one of 50 Most Promising IoT Solution Providers in 2019.  Our consulting and software development company helps organizations navigate and simplify IoT complexity and enables them to maximize the returns on IoT investments.

With over two decades of experience developing and supporting custom software solutions, SpinDance innovatively maps, architects, develops and supports the complex distributed systems behind today’s smart products, playing the role of a trusted advisor along the IoT journey from idea to production support, and everything in between. An end-to-end approach to IoT combines a deliberate and repeatable process, best-of-breed technologies with custom software that lowers risk and makes for happy and returning clients.

We are proud to be recognized in this select group of IoT solution providers. It is a testament of our teams’ dedication to supporting customers in many ways along their IoT journey and reinforces the value of forging trusting partnerships.

Our clientele ranges from Fortune 100 companies to startups in the industries of Consumer Goods, Industrial, Transportation and Medical/Healthcare and seeks to understand and address the most challenging business & technology issues impeding companies from realizing great returns with IoT.

Read the SpinDance CIO article

SpinDance is also recognized as a top Software Development Company on DesignRush
Visit our profile

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Riding the wake of AWS re:Invent 2018

January 4th, 2019 | Greg Straw | Development,Engineering,Events

As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, staying ahead of this wave is something that both challenges and inspires us as software consultants. After a great week with the SpinDance Engineering team in Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent 2018, we’ve come back inspired and excited to share our experience and what we learned about the new tools and technologies with our co-workers and customers. Staying up to date with all of the AWS offerings can feel like a full-time job, and attending re:Invent is a great opportunity to learn in abundance from other engineers and AWS partners. It’s also a great opportunity to talk with and sit down with the engineers that help build some of these amazing tools.

Below are some of the trending topics and themes we brought back.

IoT Continues to Drive Ahead

With announcements like IoT Events, IoT SiteWise, IoT Things Graph, IoT Device Tester, ML inference at the edge with Greengrass, the exploding curve of new technologies continues to drive forward for IoT.

• IoT Events supports the creation of virtual state machines to allow the detection and handling of telemetry events across any number of devices.

• IoT SiteWise supports the collection and organization of site-wide device data. This service was born out of many common problems in the industrial and manufacturing space and is another example of AWS packaging up a solution to a difficult problem observed in real-world applications….

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Event-Driven Architectures with AWS DynamoDB Streams

November 2nd, 2018 | Greg Straw | Development,Engineering

We’ve been working with AWS DynamoDB Streams on our customer projects, and we’ve found it to be a really powerful solution for creating event-driven pipelines. DynamoDB is one of the more recent features added to DynamoDB and can help address some of the common challenges when migrating from a relational schema to DynamoDB.

What are DynamoDB Streams?

If you don’t know the basics around DynamoDB, there are many good articles, blogs, and of course the AWS Documentation. I’d like to focus on some of the use cases, and the benefits of using one of its more recent features: DynamoDB Streams.

DynamoDB Streams enable you to trigger downstream actions based on the activity occurring in a DynamoDB table. Every time an item is added, changed, or removed, a stream event is triggered by capturing that change. This feature is very powerful when integrated with other AWS components.

When streams are enabled for a given table, AWS stands up a new service endpoint for making API requests specific to stream events. You can select from four options for the stream events:

  1. KEYS_ONLY – the key attributes of the changed item
  2. NEW_IMAGE – what the item changed-to
  3. OLD_IMAGE – what the item changed from

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Sparking the IoT Journey with Big Data Ignite

October 25th, 2018 | Jeff Ekdom | Events,IoT Notes

Big Data, Analytics, Cloud Computing, and IoT, these were the overwhelming undertones at the Big Data Ignite event at the DeVos Place on the shores of the Grand River in Grand Rapids, MI this fall. Pair these topics with the creative and electric vibes from that of the first days of ArtPrize (a large international art competition in the heart of downtown), and it was sure to be a great event to attend, learn, and network.

What is Symbiosis?

The theme for this year’s event was “Symbiotic Intelligence through Automation.” Symbiosis can be defined as “mutual and collective benefits derived from interaction” or, “benefits from connecting things & systems.” Here at SpinDance, this resonates well. This “connecting a physical thing to compute resources, and adding connectivity” is how we define IoT and what an “internet thing” is.

The Correlation of Big Data to the IoT Journey

Throughout the keynotes, panels, and talks we noticed a few trends and takeaways. At SpinDance, we know that every customer is on a unique path when it comes to IoT. We refer to this as their IoT Journey. There are four “stops” on this path – Awareness, Acceptance, Adoption, and Strategic. At this event, we saw a large correlation on these stops, with how customers are collecting, analyzing, and using their data. For some, they could be categorized more in the awareness or acceptance stage when it comes to their data….

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Interusability: IoT User Experience Beyond the Level of a Single Device

September 7th, 2018 | Brian Tol | Engineering,IoT Notes,SpinDance

In 2014, publisher and technology guru Tim O’Reilly gave a speech entitled “Software Above the Level of an Individual Device.” In it, he described the foundational pattern that IoT enables: instead of individual computers, we’re building a network of devices that “make it possible to completely rethink how we organize work, play and society itself.”

Implicit in O’Reilly’s argument is the need for new ways of interfacing with these device networks to unlock their potential: What we need are user experiences that go beyond the level of a single device.

This multi-device experience design is called interusability, and it is central to building successful IoT products.

What is Interusability?

The term “interusability” was coined in 2005 by Charles Denis and Laurent Karsenty. They argued that conventional UX design was ill-equipped to handle multi-device interfaces. The discussion continued in 2010 when a group of researchers published a practical framework for interusability. In 2015, O’Reilly Media launched Designing Connected Products, which we at SpinDance consider the current definitive work on the subject.

If you don’t have time for articles or books, Claire Rowland’s 49 slide presentation on the subject is worth checking out. In particular, this chart is a good guide for thinking about where interusability fits in the larger UX/software world:

So what is interusability?…

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The Future of Voice: A Recap of VOICE Summit 2018

August 10th, 2018 | Jeff Ekdom | News,Opinion,SpinDance

About the Event

This summer over 2,800 thought leaders within the voice space gathered at the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology for the 2018 VOICE Summit. This first-time event sponsored by Amazon Alexa and designed for all those getting into natural language AI, NLP, and Alexa Skills programming.  The event included powerful keynotes, informative breakout sessions, thought-provoking panels, and valuable professional networking.

The theme of this year’s event was “Voice First.” The term voice-first refers to devices that use voice as the primary input method that points the way towards more integrated and useful user experience.  The event provided an opportunity for sharing, learning, and discussion about the future and the value of voice-first from both a consumer and business perspective.

The Future of Voice

In business and as consumers, we live very busy lives, and we are frequently searching to find ways to be more efficient.  Voice is a powerful tool; it is an efficient input modality: it allows users to give commands to a system quickly and on their terms. Hands-free controls allow users to multitask, and effective natural language processing eliminates the need for complex navigation menus, at least for familiar tasks and common commands.  Voice-first can meet user goals and business objectives for efficiency now and in the future.

Since children are exposed to digital and voice experiences at a very young age,…

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Internet of Manufacturing – Patterns of IoT Success

July 3rd, 2018 | Jeff Ekdom | IoT Notes,News,SpinDance

Internet of Manufacturing

Technology leaders, business strategists, and product innovators from manufacturers across the globe gathered together a few weeks ago at the Internet of Manufacturing event based on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL. The event presented valuable opportunities to learn, network and discuss challenges and trends in IoT for the Industrial sector. Key themes at the event were digital transformation, changing customer expectations, workforce demographics, connectivity opportunities and revenue growth.

Challenges for Industrial IoT

There is a lot that goes into digital transformation and adopting IoT within the Industrial space. To make a successful shift from traditional thinking (decisions with certainty, 5-year plans, success at all cost) to digital thinking (calculated risks, failing smart, and agile thinking) takes time and buy-in from the entire organization.

New innovative use cases such as autonomous shop floor drones, cobots, AI-based predictive maintenance, AR/VR/MR for training and field support, and blockchain based supply chain are fuel for smarter business. Manufacturers can collect and utilize data (that was obsolete before IIoT) to make better decisions for the organization, reduce production & training costs, decrease risks of injury, and allow for greater focus on value and improved customer experiences.

Patterns of IoT Success

This digital transformation age for IIoT is affording countless lessons. Trends of success are emerging with clear & aligned objectives, repeatable innovation,…

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IoT Blossoms at Technology Symposium

June 5th, 2018 | Tom Miller | News,SpinDance

Tulips were in full color all around the downtown area in Holland, MI this spring when 100,000 visitors converged on the Great Lakes coastal community to allow Tulip Time, a spring festival in Michigan, to renew and inspire with a fresh outlook. SpinDance, our Holland-based IoT design, development and support company, followed the lead of this annual tradition by hosting Technology & Tulips: Blooming Strategies for IoT, an event on the top floor of the beautiful City View hotel

Companies large and small, new and established, face big questions about IoT’s role and strategic contribution. What is IoT? How does it impact my industry and company?  What should I do? IoT is technically challenging and is a significant shift from traditional product development.  So what did a day of IoT & tulips yield you ask?

Stages of IoT  
Companies are all on an IoT journey either through their product or process, or with the engagement of the customers, suppliers, and partners they rely on in their business. Each company is in one of several stages: awareness, exploration, adoption, or strategy.  Regardless of stage, most are feeling anxious about the step they are in wondering how the next step impacts their industry and company.  The IoT Symposium allowed attendees in all stages to share and listen to stories of both challenge and success….

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