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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Dusk over CityVu Events Building with graphic depiction of tech symposium

Join us in May for our Technology Symposium

April 6th, 2018 | Erin Bernhard Erno | News,SpinDance

There’s no denying it – the Internet of Things is here to stay. However, about 61% of executives in the United States believe that they’ve barely scratched the surface of what IoT can do for their business. For most, the question is, “How can I best integrate IoT solutions into our existing business strategy?”

If this is a question you’ve been asking, then you’re in luck. You just need to block out your calendar on May 10, 2018.

Technology Symposium: Blooming Strategies for IoT

May 10, 2018
IOT Bootcamp and Journeys in IoT
City Flats Hotel, Downtown Holland

Join us in Holland, Michigan, to learn from pioneers in the IoT industry. Participating in any part of this free event will give you the opportunity to better understand how to enhance your business goals by including the Internet of Things.

In the morning, you’ll receive key insights into the nuances of IoT from the highly-trained staff at SpinDance by participating in our IoT Bootcamp ($1500 value), which we’re making available to you free of charge. After lunch, you’ll hear from key business leaders who have prioritized IoT for their businesses. By the end of the day, you’ll have created your own IoT strategy, learned about a wide variety of IoT solutions, and networked with leaders from a variety of industries….

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Introducing the IoT Canvas: Planning Worksheets For Connected Products

December 19th, 2017 | Brian Tol | News,Operations,SpinDance

Managing an IoT project can be tricky. Every month, SpinDance talks to one or two organizations who are stuck somewhere on the IoT journey. Some of the scenarios we’ve heard recently include:

  • The project team is struggling to sort through competing vendor claims.
  • The organization isn’t sure how to build a business case or calculate long-term ROI.
  • Their QA process is taking 3x as long as expected, forcing them to rush a inferior product to market.
  • They didn’t plan for essential features like over-the-air updates, and are scrambling to add them to a suboptimal embedded design.
  • Their device analytics are not answering the questions the business /really/ cares about.
  • The outsourced cloud development team is months behind delivering a product, and there is finger pointing between all the various delivery groups.

These are all true stories we’ve seen up close, and unfortunately they aren’t isolated experiences. Cisco recently did a survey that found that 85% of IoT projects are considered business failures at some level. Meanwhile, we continue to consult with project teams that aren’t sure where to turn next.

There’s no reason that a properly-planned project should fail, so this raises the critical question: why are IoT projects so difficult?

Why is IoT so difficult?

There are lots of symptoms that contribute to the difficulty of IoT project management,…

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SpinDance Hosts 2017 IChallengeUth

September 5th, 2017 | SpinDance | News

For the past several years SpinDance has had the pleasure of hosting the IChallengeUth program. The program is in collaboration with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. Middle schoolers participating in the program are given a real-world challenge that a business could face. Students use teamwork and multiple learning techniques to come up with a solution using mechanics and technology and then they make a recommendation to the company. The event was hosted in the “missile command” conference room at SpinDance in Holland, MI, July 31 – August 4, 2017.

ichallengeuth
Students present their ideas for a new SpinApp. Hmmm, just might have something there!

During the four-day event, students deliberated over the challenge given, had the support of a teacher and SpinDance Engineers to ask questions and seek out knowledge to help develop their solutions. Students spent the last day presenting their proposed solutions to the teacher and the SpinDance executive, engineering and support teams.

The students were from several different Middle Schools from around Ottawa County and each had an interest in being involved in a business and/or in technology.

“Overall, the IChallengeUth program has been a fantastic experience,” said a volunteer teacher. “Each year, it is so amazing to watch the students work together as a team to come up with a solution that is not only relevant,…

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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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SpinDance Growing Program Management and Systems Administration Staff

March 10th, 2016 | SpinDance | News

MICHIGAN, March 10, 2015 – SpinDance, Inc., of Holland, recently hired Lindsey Lopez as Program Manager and Ryan Lewkowicz as Systems Administrator as it continues growing its team and overall capabilities.

Lopez previously served as Product Owner at LeanLogistics, Inc. Her background in supply chain management has allowed her to lead project teams, and manage multiple projects of various complexity and size.

During her time at LeanLogistics, Lopez took on roles of increasing responsibilities such as Logistics Coordinator, Strategic Support Specialist, and most recently Product Owner. Each role demanded an increased focus towards customer support and satisfaction.

Lopez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, and is a certified Scrum Product Owner for Agile Methodology.

In her new role at SpinDance, Lopez will effectively manage all aspects of each customers’ project. She will be responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction, while delivering innovative solutions. Her overall customer-centric background and focus will be valuable to the continual growth and success of SpinDance.

Lewkowicz most recently served as Systems Administrator and Operations Engineer at Liquidweb Inc. Lewkowicz supported multiple web applications and systems configurations to assist customers in achieving core business objectives. Additionally, Lewkowicz focused on building hardware and infrastructure ranging in complexities from the very basic, to enterprise level solutions.

Lewkowicz has earned Red Hat CSA certification,…

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SpinDance Growing its Engineering Team

March 3rd, 2016 | SpinDance | News

MICHIGAN, March 4, 2015 – SpinDance, Inc., of Holland, has expanded its team over the past few months with the hiring of several systems and software engineers to meet the growing demand for its consulting services.

In November of 2015, SpinDance hired Brendan Rabb as Lead Systems Engineer. Prior to joining SpinDance, Rabb served as a Senior Systems Engineer for Visteon (formerly Johnson Controls). Rabb will help expand SpinDance’s growing capabilities for designing and engineering solutions for its Internet of Things (IoT) customers, and will be based out of the Grand Rapids office. Rabb has a Bachelor of Arts from Aquinas College and a Master of Arts from Marquette University.

Also in November of 2015, SpinDance hired Zack Sharkey as a Junior Software Engineer on the web development team. Sharkey will be focused on serving one of SpinDance’s largest customers with web development for their industry-leading mortgage servicing software. Sharkey spent time as a software developer at Sales Pad, Solid Circle, and Mophie. Sharkey earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Western Michigan University.

Thomas Peterson joined the SpinDance mobile development team as a Software Engineer in December of 2015. Brought onboard primarily to expand the mobile team, Peterson will also be engaging in cloud software development for key IoT customers. Before coming to SpinDance, Peterson served GeLo as a software developer….

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Holland firm gets national attention for Internet of Things expertise

November 23rd, 2015 | SpinDance | News

Source: M-Live

Written by Shandra Martinez

HOLLAND, MI — When Mike Ellis first put the term “Internet of Things” on a Powerpoint 15 years ago, he remembers his clients giving him strange looks.

“Everybody looked at us like we were three-headed,” Ellis said.

Now, the Internet of Things — often seen in abbreviated form “IoT” — is the buzzword in the tech world referring to the growing trend of connecting everyday objects to the Internet.

Ellis’ firm SpinDance is so deep in the technology, the small Holland firm was invited to join the ARMmbed ecosystem to share its expertise in designing and building end-to-end systems for IoT.

Internet of Things expertise
ARM is an industry leader and an innovator in the world of embedded devices,” said Eric Smith, vice-president of engineering at SpinDance, about joining the partnership. “We believe the mbed platform and associated partnershipARM has formed will be a catalyst for IoT growth and we are excited to be a part of it.”

The mbed partnership brings together chip manufacturers, module makers, cloud software as a service platforms, and system integrators, like SpinDance, to create a complete ecosystem of hardware and services required to deliver connected, smart products to businesses and consumers, all utilizing the mbed IoT Device Platform.

“Real value can be unlocked in IoT systems using big data to drive decision-making,”…

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