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A New Way to Access the Gym
Anytime Fitness is improving their customer experience by implementing NFC technology to allow their members gym access with their phone.
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Hackathon Day with Lab651
Always Learning — We want people who are inherently inquisitive and want to learn on our team. Jobs are boring if you are not growing, learning and becoming better at what you do.   ~~~~~~   Hackathon Day   Back in 2014, Justin Grammens helped create the first IoT Hack Day in Minnesota. The event’s…
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Welcome to the Team | Renna Hintermeister
Introducing a new member of the Lab651 team, Renna Hintermeister. Renna is our quality assurance tester with a strong passion for learning – she’s a great addition to the team! You may have seen her SciTech Internship Program write up. She has also written two blog posts while learning Particle Photon (part 1 & part 2)…
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The team at Lab651 got together for a company outing at the Saint Paul Saints game
Company outing at the Saints game
The Crew Gets Together Each quarter, the team at Lab651 gets together for a special company outing. This fall, we decided on one of our favorite activities, which was spending the evening outside at the Saint Paul Saints game with our friends and family. We rented out a suite, had a ballpark dinner together, and…
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Learning Particle Photon - Adding a Motion Sensor
Learning Particle Photon – With a Motion Sensor
This blog post has been written by our 2021 summer intern, Renna. Renna has been a great asset here at Lab651 and we are excited to provide Renna with opportunities to further pursue her passions. Be sure to read part 1. (SciTech Internship Program writeup on Renna.) ~~~~~~~~~ Part 2 – A Servo Motor +…
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Enabling IoT Into Wood Pellet Grills
We assisted Memphis Grills with connecting their wood pellet grills by adding useful and exciting new technology. The team at Lab651 designed a board to take data from the grill controller, send it via WiFi to the cloud to allow the customer to interact with their grill via a mobile app and Amazon Alexa skill…
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Learning Particle Photon
This blog post has been written by our 2021 summer intern, Renna. Renna has been a great asset here at Lab651 and we are excited to provide Renna with opportunities to further pursue her passions. SciTech Internship Program writeup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Since taking an Embedded Devices course at the University of St. Thomas, I have had…
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Starting a Podcast on IoT
Reflections on Podcasting & the AIoT Thank you for reading about all the latest things going on with myself and our team at Lab651! As many of you may not know, it has been more than a year since I took on the initiative of creating my first podcast – “Conversation on Applied AI” and…
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TensorFlow Lite – Applying Machine Learning at the Edge
Welcome to Part 3 of my series on TensorFlow! If you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1 on TensorFlow and Google Colab or Part 2 on TensorFlow Serving, I highly recommend going back and checking those out. While this blog post can stand on its own, it would help to review those earlier…
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Smart Paint Mixer
Maintaining a Competitive Advantage with an Under-Appreciated Industrial Machine; The Paint Mixer
Once you select a paint color at your local hardware store, you head to the paint counter to have it mixed. A can of base paint is opened, and colors are added to it, then the can is closed and inserted into a paint mixer. This machine shakes, spins, and rotates the can for around…
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Helping an Old Company Rethink Their Service Model
The Challenge Manufacturers and suppliers of commodities are trying to establish a direct link to consumers and to strengthen their competitive position. The emerging concept known as product as a service (PaaS) transforms a product from a standalone function from a supplier to an integrated product and service offering. Examples of PaaS include a manufacturer using widely available…
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Building an Industrial Grade Smart Level Sensing Application
The Challenge Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an expensive proposition, as it should be because an ERP solution typically manages all critical and commercial functions of a business. Automation between processes enables data sharing and enhanced visibility to make better and efficient business decisions. Another form of ERP automation involves the incorporation…
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Just-In-Time Supply Chain Done Right
JIT aims to cut costs by reducing the number of goods and materials that a firm holds in stock. One of the most critical, fundamental, and costly aspects of JIT is knowing real-time inventory levels. So when a large chemical company needed to automate its supply chain in a JIT fashion, it called on Lab651.
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Tensorflow Serving – Machine Learning Like It’s Nobody’s Business
The Serving project from TensorFlow allows us to serve models using a REST API. If you are wondering how you can leverage all the work you put into building your models to apply to your existing applications, this is what you have been looking for. Here’s where Serving comes into practice.
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Deep Learning 101
Deep Learning 101 – A Real World Example
By using the power of TensorFlow and taking just a few data points we can train a model with a high level of accuracy.
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Meet Josef Mendez
Welcome to the Team | Josef Mendez
We are excited to welcome the newest member of our team, Josef. 9 fun facts about Josef. Spoiler, it's a no to pineapple on pizza.
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Lab651's Acquisition of Applied Logic
Acquisition of Applied Logic Engineering
Lab651 announced the acquisition of Applied Logic Engineering. The acquisition of Applied Logic Engineering will strengthen Lab651’s service portfolio in embedded product development and aligns with the strategy of Lab651 to further provide end-to-end design services for connected solutions.
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Starting a Podcast
Since Starting My Podcast | Justin Grammens | #30DaysofLearning
Since my last blog post on creating the Conversations on Applied AI Podcast, I have now recorded numerous episodes, 6 of which are public with 2 more being mixed and mastered this coming week. It’s been quite a learning experience! I’ve loved the time that I’ve spent talking with fellow Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts and practitioners.…
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Generating Bad Movie Reviews with Tensorflow 2
Generating Bad Movie Reviews with TensorFlow: Part 2 | Nathan Salazar | #30DaysofLearning
In my last blog post, we discussed how to generate bad movie reviews using a text generator, where the input data was based on sequences of words. But you can also generate text by using an input sequence of individual characters, with a character-based RNN. This is particularly useful when trying to generate text that…
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Leadership Tactics, Humility | Troy Pongratz | #30DaysofLearning
Part 1 & Part 2 Humility Leaders cannot lead from a tower.  They need to get down and put their boots on the ground. They need to get the best information possible to help them make decisions.  Good information can come from anybody.  If there is a problem with a manufacturing line and an engineer…
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leadership, teamwork
Leadership Tactics, Part 2 | Troy Pongratz | #30DaysofLearning
Co-Founder, Troy Pongratz, shares his thoughts on leadership and empowering employees to make their own project plans.
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Justin Grammens and his family
Justin Grammens | The People
Co-founder Justin Grammens shares a little bit about himself for our featured employee: favorite books, role models, and exciting new technologies
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Game Theory
Game Theory | Robert Waddell | #30DaysofLearning
An Introductory Course on Game Theory After listening to enough Freakonomics and other podcasts I figured it would be interesting to learn a little more about Game Theory.  Plus I couldn’t find any free beer sommelier classes. Introduction to Game Theory or Never Go Against a Sicilian When DEATH is on the Line! After hearing…
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Using My Time More Efficiently | Ryan Inman | #30DaysOfLearning
There are 168 hours in a week and you feel as though you’re always busy. Try as you may, you can’t add any hours to a week unless it’s daylight savings and even then you have to pay that back later in the year. What are your options to redeem the time? Quit your job…
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Automating Weld Inspection
Currently, CWI’s rely on manual measurements and hand calculations – which is both time consuming and error-prone. Our customer travels the world as a commercial welder and saw an opportunity to improve the reliability and efficiency of welding inspection – by automating the process.
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can we go home yet side-eye meme
Returning to React Native: “Loading dependency graph…” forever. | Jake Berendes | #30DaysOfLearning
If you are new to React Native or coming back to it after having been away for a while, this five or so minute read will likely save you a couple days of agony. The promises React Native offers are great but when the "Getting Started" didn't actually get me anywhere I had to investigate. I hope to save you from that pain and keep you from giving up entirely on React Native.
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Where Did All My Time Go? | Ryan Inman | #30DaysofLearning
When we were all ordered to shelter in place back in March, I thought that I would have plenty of extra time on my hands. My commute time was down to zero, social gatherings are canceled and I can work from the comfort of my home and set my own schedule. In theory, extended work from home sounds like an introvert’s dream, right? So why did I feel less productive, less motivated, and also have less free time?
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Leadership Tactics | Troy Pongratz | #30DaysofLearning
The Good Bits Book: Leadership Strategy and TacticsAuthor: Jocko Willink “You can never rest on what you have accomplished in the past, you always need to improve for today”. Jocko Willink Leadership has been more of interest to me as of late so I have read a number of books on the subject.  Leadership is…
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Robert Waddell | The People
Featured Employee Robert Waddell is the Sr. Mechanical Engineer at Lab651 and will be celebrating his 3-year work anniversary this month. Robert brings ingenuity and creativity to all of his work, and we are lucky to have him. Get to know Robert 1 / What game or movie universe would you most like to live…
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AWS Certification | Todd Cochran | #30DaysofLearning
AWS Certification Amazon Web Services have become a ubiquitous part of today’s technology landscape.  I’ve worked with bits and pieces of their platform on an ad hoc basis in the past, but I never studied it in depth or looked into certification.  It’s been many years since I’ve worked in a DevOps role, but cloud…
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Working from home
Workplace Wellness – At Home
Office culture as we know it is quickly shifting. In recent news, large tech companies such as Twitter and Facebook have announced WFH options for employees through the end of the year as well as permanent options for some employees. As we adjust to this new way of working, there may be some inevitable struggles…
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How We Invest in Creating Magic | #30DaysofLearning
I was listening to an audiobook a few months back and a line jumped out at me that made me stop what I was doing and take a moment to reflect. The author said, “Magic happens in 30 days”. Huh… It occurred to me then and there that based on this simple statement, we could create…
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Generating Bad Movie Reviews Tensorflow
Generating Bad Movie Reviews with Tensorflow: Part 1 | Nathan Salazar | #30DaysofLearning
For my #30DaysofLearning initiative, I chose to take the 4-part specialization in Tensorflow offered through Coursera. It covers Dense Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks, Recurrent Neural Networks, and their applications to processing images, natural language, and time-series data. As part of the segment on natural language processing, we go through an example of how to…
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The Art Behind Bread Making | Breon Nagy | #30DaysofLearning
I enjoy the art and science of cooking. I’m a huge fan of Alton Brown, J. Kenji López-Alt, and Joshua Weissman.  In addition to being known for high-quality recipes and content, they also explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.  While I consider myself an avid home cook, baking is something that has…
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Finding Balance (The study of Ayurveda) | Kate Gustafson | #30DaysofLearning
Part 1 Right now our humanity is experiencing varying magnitudes of the burdens and grief that has been brought on by Covid-19. Many of our societal constructs have shifted almost overnight. The government, our economy, our businesses, how we relate to one another…are all being affected. How can we find balance during this time and…
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Kenmore Smart Appliances | Lab651
Kenmore Smart Appliances
Our Mission: We help companies decrease costs, open new revenue streams, and improve the experience with their customers. By developing devices and software that generate and manage data, we make new things possible. Smart Appliances Connected appliances are changing the industry for major brands like Amazon, Best Buy, and Sears. Their appliance functions boast ease and convenience…
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Meet Kate Gustafson | Lab651
Welcome to the Team | Kate Gustafson | Office/Operations Manager
Meet Kate! Kate is one of the newest members of the team, fulfilling the crucial role of Office/Operations Manager. Kate has a passion for all things wellness and has been helping the team at Lab651 incorporate new tips and tricks into their daily work routine. Get to know Kate: 1 / What is the best perk…
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Remote product monitoring | Lab651
The Remote Monitoring Tipping Point
One of the compelling benefits of a connected product is the ability to monitor the product from anywhere.  Whether it’s a leak sensor monitoring a basement for flooding, vibration sensors monitoring the health of factory machines, or power monitors measuring the flow of electricity in a distribution network, the power of pervasive connectivity allows us…
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AppliedAI Podcast
Starting a Podcast | Justin Grammens | #30DaysofLearning
I’ll be using the #30DaysofLearning at Lab651 to learn what and document my journey of creating a podcast. I intend to document the steps that I’m going through to launch the podcast. Everything from the software, hardware, guest selection, the time needed for preparation, and general work that I will learn it takes to generate a podcast on Applied AI.
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Welcome to the Team | Michael DeLong | Director of Sales
We are so excited to introduce one of our newest members of the team, Michael DeLong. Michael will be fulfilling the Director of Sales role at Lab651. Here are some fun facts about Michael: 1 / What was your very first job? Dishwasher/salad bar attendee/busboy at Bonanza Restaurant at 14   2 / If you could…
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We can't find the right words for what the world has been going through lately with the global pandemic. But as a company, we believe in "people first"— you and your family's wellbeing above all else. We wanted to use this time to emphasize this to our employees by enabling them to utilize hours not allocated to clients to pursue something that interests them.
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Ryan Inman, Our Team Lab651
Ryan Inman | The People
The team at Lab651 is what makes us who we are. We employ creative, inquisitive people who are always trying to improve upon their craft. Ryan Inman is no different, and we are delighted he’s spent the last year with Lab651 as a software engineer. Get to know Ryan: What is one thing most people…
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Device Interaction, Remote, Touchless | Lab651
Rethinking Device Interaction in Pandemic Times
Rethink Device Interaction Since the introduction of the iPhone, an increasing number of devices haveadopted touchscreens as a means of interacting with them.Touchscreens have become so pervasive, that our instinct is to touch a screen whether it is designed to be touched or not. We use them at virtually all payment terminals, gas pumps, restaurants,…
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Justin Grammens and Nick Tietz IoTFuse Workshop
A Workshop on Workshops | Lab651 at IoTFuse 2020
During this workshop we will teach you customer-driven innovation methods and help you to push your bold IoT product ideas through an interactive class experience.
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Golf Swing Analyzer
Perfecting Your Golf Swing
A golf swing can be tricky to master because there’s so much that goes into it; your grip, stance, head position and more. It can be a lot to manage on your own. That’s where SkyPro Golf Swing Analyzer comes in.
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The State of Hockey and EZ Hockey Puck
Hundreds of kids across the state of Minnesota are now able to quickly learn how to perfect a passing technique called, "saucing the puck" (airborne passing) thanks to a partnership between ProGuard, a Minnesota sports retailer, and Lab651.
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Why You Should Upgrade Your Machine | Industrial IoT
At Lab651 We help companies decrease costs, open new revenue streams, and improve the experience with their customers. By developing devices and software that generate and manage data, we make new things possible. Upgrading your Machines We believe that providing better customer experience and value should be the main priority of your business. This is the…
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Lab651 sponsoring Girl Time at The Works
Supporting Girls in Engineering and STEM
Lab651 was thrilled to be a part of Girl Time at The Works Last weekend, September 21st, Lab651 happily sponsored Girl Time at The Works. Girl Time is an event that The Works put together to encourage girls to be excited about engineering. Throughout the day, girls (and boys) and their families walked around the…
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Custom or Off the Shelf Solution | Lab651
Off-the-Shelf or Custom Solution – What’s Right for Your Connected Product?
When it comes to building a solution for your connected product, there are two paths you can take: a custom-built solution or an off-the-shelf. We believe that each solution, whether custom or off-the-shelf, has its place. It should be determined by a number of factors like, whether you’ve prototyped, what your internal technical capabilities are,…
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4 Biggest Barriers to your Product's Success
The 4 Biggest Barriers to the Success of your Connected Product
The Success of your Connected Product The success of your connected product is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately there can be some set backs along the way. Here are the 4 biggest barriers that can set back your project. If you want to avoid running into these problems, or are currently stuck, contact us and we’ll…
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It’s Never Too Late for a Workshop
Discovery Workshop You read our last blog post, right? “You’ve Developed an MVP, Now What?” When you launch a phase of your MVP you are beginning the Build, Measure, Learn wheel again. Ideally, you would start our discovery workshop before you launch your MVP. That way, our workshops can devise the best plan possible for…
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You’ve developed a minimum viable product (MVP), what’s next?
Taking prototype into production Your MVP, or your basic, essentials-only product, is ready for launch. So what’s next? Once you launch your MVP, the ultimate goal is to take the data collected from your MVP and launch a fully developed product/system. For your MVP to be successful for launch, be sure to follow these steps.…
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IoT Meeting
Increase Business Efficiencies with the Internet of Things
Increase Business Efficiencies with the Internet of Things Embracing IoT is a big step and a huge investment. Almost anything and everything in your business could become an IoT product, which can make the process overwhelming. But what we’ve seen at Lab651 is the business and employee efficiencies gained from implementing IoT trumps the initial…
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Engineering | Lab651
5 Things to Talk About With an Engineering Partner
When you decide to take on a business transformation, like implementing an IoT strategy, you’ll likely meet and want to partner with an engineering firm to start your project’s roadmap. Here are some things that they’ll need to know in order to fully understand every component of your project and engineer the best solution possible…
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IoT Consultation
3 Reasons Why You Should Hire Expert Consultants for Your Next IoT Project
Hiring Expert Consultant Benefits Save time, money, and efforts by hiring expert consultants versus hiring in-house. 1. ACCESS Hiring expert consultants for your project means that you have access to anyone, anywhere in the world with the right capabilities to make your project the best it can be, no matter its uniqueness.  2. SPEED Get…
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Justin Grammens speaks at JCU
Speaking at John Carroll University on IoT
I was honored to have been invited by Dr. Scott Allen to speak at John Carroll University in April on “The Internet of Things – Making the Physical World Smarter.” It was an extremely fun and engaging audience and I enjoyed every minute of the presentation. What made this presentation unique was that it was…
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94% of businesses who have implemented IoT strategies have seen a ROI | Lab651
Emerging Technology; 5 Internet of Things Facts
2019 Internet of Things Facts The Internet of Things is growing rapidly. IoT refers to anything and everything connected to the Internet and sharing data. Some of the most common consumer devices that are connected to the Internet are your newer appliances, like your refrigerator or thermostat, or your wearables, like your Fitbit or Apple…
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Azure IoT Presentation at International NDC Conference
I was honored to have the opportunity to speak at the internationally known NDC conference this past May that was held in downtown Saint Paul, MN. With such a wide array of speakers and technologies being covered, it was an amazing experience to be networking with fellow presenters, attendees, and sponsors from all over the…
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Connected fitness, Fitbit, Apple Watch, Samsung, wearables | Lab651
IoT & IoMT; Emerging Technologies
How Wearable Technologies Will Shape the Future Earlier this month, Co-Founder Justin Grammens was the panel moderator at the Minnesota Entrepreneur Conference. The topic: emerging technologies. When talking about emerging technology, it’s super cool to talk about AI, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. But even cooler, in my opinion, is IoMT (internet of medical things) and its…
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IoT and Data Security
One cannot speak on IoT without referring to the data collected from the smart devices all around us. This is a key topic of discussion with our clients at Lab651. As I have taught students taking my Internet of Things class at the University of Saint Thomas, what’s so special about the data that comes…
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Vitals Aware Services | Lab651
A Lifesaving App for Those in Need
Vitals Aware Services has a potentially life-saving application for individuals with invisible vulnerabilities. An individual with a disability utilizes the app to assist in communication with emergency service personnel. Vulnerable adults can lack the confidence and ability to speak with law enforcement due to an impaired sense of danger or from feeling overwhelmed; these responses…
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Lab651 Offers IoT Training Courses
As Neil deGrasse Tyson famously states, “There’s no shame in admitting what you don’t know. The only shame is pretending you know all the answers.” When a company embarks on the journey of building a product that is connected to the Internet, there’s a few key points that everyone within the organization should be asking…
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AAUW Meeting | Lab651
Justin Grammens Speaks at AAUW
I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to speak before the The American Association of University Women ( AAUW ) on April 2nd! Nationally, the AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, we have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the…
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Lab Work: UR TURN
As a part of an ongoing series we are starting called “Lab Work”, we will be interviewing a handful of the amazing clients that we are blessed to have the opportunity to support through our experience in Mobile/Cloud Applications and Data Science. This month, we will be talking with Angie Eilers from UR TURN. A…
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What actually drives our client's IoT | Lab651
What Should Be Driving IoT?
I used to work for a large industrial company where I had the acronym “IoT” in my title. I was inundated with LinkedIn messages like “We can solve your IoT problems”, “We have an IoT solution that… ” or the worse one of all, “What’s your IoT strategy?” Where did all these IoT Subject Matter…
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Why The Time Is Now
I had the extreme pleasure of recently keynoting the University of Minnesota’s Law School’s Symposium on the Internet of Things. During the opening remarks and the lunch keynote that I gave to the audience, I talked about the way in which intelligent “things” are more and more going to have an impact on our lives.…
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Vitals Aware Services beacon | Lab651
Vitals Aware Services Releases Life Saving Technology
Vitals Aware Services, a client of Lab651, is releasing mobile and web applications with IoT based technology created by our team to more than 500 police officers in Dakota County, Minnesota with a number of other law enforcement agencies around the United States set to pilot the program in the coming months. Coverage by the…
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Speaking at the U of M law school | Lab651
Justin Grammens Keynotes Minnesota School of Law Symposium
Justin Grammens, co-founder of Lab 651, will be the keynote speaker for the Minnesota School of Law Symposium on the Internet of Things on Friday, March 2, 2018. It’s predicted that by 2020, more than 20 billion devices will be on the Internet. This includes a vast majority of them not just smartphones, tablets, and…
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The Three Truths of Invention
I was recently asked to speak at the Reve Reflect event on the topic of “Invention”. They purposefully left it open-ended as ( in their words ), “wanted the presenters to keep an eye on the creative process of inventing something, rather than the broad term of Innovation”. After speaking that evening on just a…
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Tesla, Charging Cars | Lab651
What Connected Products Can Learn from the Electric Car
More than 20 years ago GM produced the first mass-market electric car: the EV1. It was deemed as unprofitable by GM and subsequently was terminated in 1999. GM spent what I would assume to be millions of dollars crushing the EV1’s to end their development of electric cars. Fast forward to today. Elon Musk is…
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The (Real) Power 50 Of 2016
Justin Grammens, Cofounder of Lab651, had the extreme pleasure of being named one of The (Real) Power 50 for 2016 by Minnesota Business! As Justin said, “It is a tremendous honor to be included in this list and I’m humbled to have been selected this year for the award. Becky and I were able to attend…
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Connected City, Harnessing the Power of IoT
Harnessing the Power of the Internet of Things
The past month was a blur as the team at Lab651 was not only building connected products for our awesome clients, but I was also busy working with IoTFuse to execute on our 1000+ person conference called IoT Fuse: Conference 2017, teaching the Internet of Things at the University of Saint Thomas and publishing the…
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Connected Classroom | Lab651
Building Connected Classrooms
Outside of running the mobile and web applications team at Lab651, I teach a graduate-level course on the Internet of Things at the University of Saint Thomas. I have had the opportunity to experience situations where I wished that I was omniscient; able to see, hear and know all in the classroom. Therefore, when Wildflower…
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IoT Milwaukee | Lab651
Reflections on Returning to IoT North America
As the IoT industry was just starting to glom onto the term the “Internet of Things”, I attended the very first IoT North America Conference in Milwaukee, WI in 2014. Like others, I had been doing “IoT” and working with connected devices outside of my day job for many years. In fact, a good friend…
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Lab651 Grow Minnesota
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Annual Update
We are honored that Lab 651 was recognized as a leading technology company in the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Annual Update (PDF)! Through our unique experience and skill sets at Lab 651, the Chamber recognized that Lab 651 is leading the pathway to building a smarter and more connected world. As we see the world…
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IoT | Lab651
IoT in 2017
The Internet of Things As we’ve been building connected products, or what is commonly now called the “Internet of Things” (IoT) at Lab651, I decided to spend some time reflecting on where I see the industry going in 2017. There’s obviously more to the story than the 3 items below, which I’ll be writing about…
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