5 Points to Remember for Engaging Citizens with the Internet of Things

When examining the process of the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) within city environments, people often focus on the technical aspects. There are five main themes in order to successfully adopt IoT technology on a large scale. The five themes for an operational IoT include:

  1. Leverage existing physical infrastructure
  2. Engage the local data ecosystem (i.e., partner with local researchers or non-profits)
  3. Employ a clear data management strategy
  4. Address security and privacy concerns with transparency
  5. Turn collected data into action

Despite the importance of the technical aspects of the IoT, it is also important to examine the non-technical aspects because it deals with the consumers that will actually be using the technology. One of the best ways to further advance technical products is by engaging with residents. This allows implementers to gather support for a projects as well as gain insight about how to make a project much more effective. Utilizing residents as a resource for developing the adoption of IoT technology should not be overlooked, regardless of how complex a project may seem. Residents can often provide new information or insight on things that haven’t been considered yet.

There are many ways to go about creating engagement efforts. One example is the Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup), which is a group consisting of Chicago residents who are paid to test various civic websites and applications. These groups can be used as ways to engage with residents, which can lead to further development of any IoT projects. Civic engagement through groups such as the CUTGroup have allowed for technological improvements and should be seen as a tool rather than a hindrance.

In order for cities to capitalize on the future of the IoT, they will need to value the interaction between implementers and residents. Collecting feedback and information about how residents interact with technology is much more valuable than simply informing residents of how a technology works. This means that residents should not only be informed, but be able to interact with implementers and raise any questions or concerns they have. With technological growth in mind, the non-technical aspects of the IoT are just as important as the technical aspect.

Read the full article: http://www.govtech.com/fs/5-Points-to-Remember-for-Engaging-Citizens-with-the-Internet-of-Things.html

Better with Age: Chicago’s Top Ten Startup Founders over 40

Successful startups are driven by experience, knowledge, and an overall understanding of respective industries. This type of wisdom enables older founders to be well-equipped to envision the ideal workplace, with its unique office perks that are often associated with startup cultures. While most people picture a youthful individual as the stereotypical startup found, this does not pertain to a lot of startup companies. The average age of founders for successful startup companies is around 40 years old. The Chicagoland area is riddled with successful founders over the age of 40, showing that startup success is not tied to youth.

Grid Connect, a manufacturer and distributer of networking products, has been recognized due to the fact that President Mike Justice is one of the seasoned founders mentioned above. He started his successful company in 2003 as purely a networking company, but as it continued to expand, Grid Connect started to manufacture their own wireless sensors and IoT products. The sensors give users complete control over their home as they are designed to notify the homeowner of any environmental changes in their home. They also manufacture the powerful HomeKit-enabled ConnectSense Smart Outlet, which allows users to control any product with Siri voice controls. The company has been able to create quality products like these and thrive under the control and vision of this successful founder!

Read More: http://tech.co/better-age-chicagos-top-founders-40-2016-08/gallery/6#scroll-to-gallery

Grid Connect is One of the Coolest Companies in Chicago

This year, Chicago Inno is hosting their second annual, Coolest Companies Competition. This is essentially a fun challenge between different local companies to highlight the best company cultures in the Chicagoland area. An assortment of companies submitted information about what makes their company cool; Chicago Inno then selected the best companies to be nominees for the award. Grid Connect is honored to be nominated as one of the coolest companies in the area for the second year in a row.

So what makes Grid Connect so cool? The company culture includes many employee benefits, such as a weekly free lunch, an unlimited vacation policy, exciting ping-pong and bags tournaments, and more! In the nomination list, Grid Connect was quoted for another unique benefit, “We have ‘Shot Fridays,’ which includes a new shot or alcoholic drink every Friday at 2.30PM.” Grid Connect is dedicated to providing employees with the best work experience possible. Making it fun to come to work is great for keeping employees motivated and happy with their jobs.

The finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and last year’s winners at Chicago Fest, a celebration of the city’s innovators. New to this year’s award, there will be “Reader’s Choice” winners, which are publically selected winners. This means that anyone can vote for Grid Connect! Help recognize and spotlight the amazing company culture that Grid Connect has created. In order to vote, check out the link below!

Vote for Grid Connect here: http://chicago-fest.com/coolest-companies/

Find out more about the award: http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2016/07/19/coolest-companies-chicago-2016-100-biz-with-the-best-culture/

Smart bosses reveal their secrets to hiring

If you’re a small-business owner in Chicago, your glass probably looks half-full compared with this time last year. The regional economy is slowly recovering from its stumble, more banks are showing enthusiasm for lending and consumer spending is up. Enough of you are confident that, in a survey earlier this year conducted by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, 71 percent of you plan to grow your small businesses over the next 12 months.

For many, that translates to hiring. But hiring can be a daunting prospect for small-business owners—that’s because every person you sign on plays a crucial role. It can be a challenge to find the right person who can juggle multiple tasks and not disrupt what’s often a tightknit, family-like company culture.

Read more at Crain’s Chicago Business or download the PDF now.

PROFIBUS Troubleshooting and & Maintenance Classes – July 2015

PREFABS Class Dates

Having problems with your PROFIBUS network? This is the class for you! Learn the skills you need to find and isolate problems fast. At the end of the training, you will be able to maintain, strategically isolate, analyze and solve problems in PROFIBUS installations.

Grid Connect has teamed up with PROCENTEC and renowned teacher, Dennis van Booma, to provide this unique training opportunity. The workshop is designed for those who install and maintain PROFIBUS installations. The class provides a mixture of theory and hands-on experience to give you both the skill set you need, and the ability to put it into practice immediately. Attendees will learn how to analyze, localize and solve PROFIBUS problems. The theory covered includes details about cabling, shielding, and grounding. The practical hands-on examples show you how to use various tools to find and fix your problems fast.

PROFIBUS TrainingAt the end of this workshop, you will have an understanding of PROFIBUS concepts, components, cabling, grounding and shielding for both PROFIBUS DP and PA installations. You will also be able to understand and handle troubleshooting and maintenance tools, such as the ProfiTrace 2 with its built-in oscilloscope software Scopeware, and ProfiCaptain 2.

Attendees will be offered special pricing for ProfiTrace 2 Kits, ProfiHub A5/B5, ComBricks and more!

** Hear what people are saying about this popular and informative class by clicking here! **

About the Course:

  • Theory Topics Covered
    • PROFIBUS DP and PA
    • RS 485 and MBP-IS properties
    • Cabling techniques
    • Grounding and shielding
    • DP/PA segment couplers, repeaters and OLMs
    • Fault finding strategies
    • Measurement tools
  •  Hands-On Exercises
    • Protocol analysis with the ProfiTrace 2 Analyzer
    • Signal analysis with ScopeWare (oscilloscope)

Audience: This workshop is intended for anyone who is responsible for PROFIBUS installations. For example:

  • Service personnel and operators.
  • Installation companies.
  • Industrial PROFIBUS users.
  • Engineering companies.
  • Hardware and software

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HURRY! Seats are limited! Sign up now by clicking here or call the Grid Connect office at +1 (800) 975-GRID.

ELECTRIC POWER Panel: Utilization of “BIG DATA” to Transform the Energy Industry

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When: April 22, 1:45PM – 3:45PM
Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 9291 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, IL

Session Title: Utilization of “BIG DATA” to Transform the Energy Industry

This session will explore how plant data analytics is being used for plant efficiency, asset optimization and dispatch of generation assets.

Presentations and Panelists:
“How the Internet of Things Will Transform the Energy Industry” – John Marchiando, VP of Business Development at Grid Connect
“Big Data Analysis: Mining and Analyzing Utility Data” – Michael Steifman, CEO and Founder of UtiliSave
“What is Energy Intelligence?” – Gregg Dixon, Senior VP of Marketing and Sales at EnerNOC
“Advanced Technology Update” – Matt Evans, Director of Smarter Service at Siemens Energy, Inc. and Bernie Cook, Director of Maintenance and Diagnostics at Duke Energy Corporation

Chair:
Roosevelt Huggins, Associate Vice President at Black and Vetch Corporation

About the ELECTRIC POWER Conference + Exhibition:

As the official event of POWER magazine, the ELECTRIC POWER Conference + Exhibition is a platform for generating companies to come together in one place to address current industry trends and the challenges confronting power plant professionals today. It’s a chance to go beyond the pages of POWER and interact with the stakeholders and newsmakers you read about in each issue.

Conference Website: http://www.electricpowerexpo.com

March 2015 Newsletter – Link Round Up

Grid Connect Introduces ConnectSense Handset Telephone with Ten-Number Dial to the Smart Home Space – A new easy-to-use telephone with ten number memory dial is now available for pre-order from Grid Connect. The ConnectSense Telephone features nine speed dial memory buttons that enable users to call frequently used numbers and a redial function to quickly dial the last outgoing number. > Read More at ConnectSense.com

April Showers Bring Floodwaters – Remember that April showers bring floodwaters! Everyone lives in a flood zone and just because you haven’t experienced one in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. There are a number of factors that can cause a flood, one of which is weather. Winter storms and snowmelt are often overlooked causes of flooding. More common causes of flooding include heavy rains and the spring thaw that usually begin mid-March to early April. Thanks to the Internet of Things revolution though, there are a number of devices available that can help reduce the amount of water damage in your home by immediately notifying you when something goes awry. > Read More at ConnectSense.com

New Product Alert: CAN USB PRO FD Adapter – 2 Channels: CAN & LIN – The PCAN-USB-PRO FD adapter connects a USB port to CAN and LIN networks. Two CAN/LIN buses can be connected at the same time, with up to software four connections available using appropriate adapter cables (2 x CAN, 2 x LIN). The CAN USB PRO FD is housed in a robust aluminum casing making the PCAN-USB Pro FD adapter suitable for all types of applications. The CAN USB Pro FD supports the new CAN FD standard and is 100% hardware & software compatible to the original CAN USB Pro adapter. The new PCAN-USB driver version 4 must be used. > More Information

Join Us at Internet of Things North America! – When: April 15-16, 2015 | Where: Chicago, IL | Booth #: 102 | Silver Sponsor – Internet of Things North America is an innovative event covering advanced connectivity and cloud based monitoring/control of devices, facilities, automobiles and enterprise operations. Plus, “10 Things to Consider When Developing IoT Devices” with Adam Justice on April 15th at 1:30pm. > More Information

How the Past Relates to the Future Promise of the Internet of Things – As we move beyond machines relying on humans, we are able to add connectivity to all sorts of new devices. By providing devices with better information, us humans are able to stay more informed, automate and take action like never before. This is really not the first time we have seen automation in our lives though. Before we take a look at where the IoT is going, let’s take a look back. > Read More at ConnectSense.com

Join Us at Internet of Things North America 2015!

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When: April 15-16, 2015
Where: Chicago, IL
Booth #: 102
Silver Sponsor

Internet of Things North America is an innovative event covering advanced connectivity and cloud based monitoring/controlof devices, facilities, automobiles and enterprise operations. After a successful 2014 event in Milwaukee, the 2015 will be held in Chicago on April 15-16.

Conference Website: http://www.remotemagazine.com/internetofthings/

Session Title: 10 Things to Consider When Developing IoT Devices
When:
 April 15, 1:30pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) was named the most hyped technology of 2014 by Gartner, and designers are responding by feverishly working to add connectivity to products in all industries, especially in the connect home, medical devices, industrial automation and transportation. Connected products require a new approach to design. This session will dive into the 10 things designers need to consider when developing IoT devices.