MistyWest

Mission to Market Share: When You Should (And Shouldn’t) Hire a Product Development Firm.

Mission to Market Share: When You Should (And Shouldn’t) Hire a Product Development Firm

Asking a product development firm whether you should hire a product development firm or build out your internal team can feel a bit like asking a barber if you should get a haircut, or asking the waiter if you should get dessert. But here’s a plot twist: most of the time, it may be the …

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Building and Scaling IoT Projects Quickly with Serverless Applications

Introduction So you’ve launched a new IoT product, perhaps using the IoT framework provided by AWS, Azure, or another major cloud provider, and your devices can now send and receive data from the cloud. Now, how do you process that data to get valuable insights, such as device health telemetry or user behavior tracking?  There …

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Choosing The Right Computing Device For A Low Power Sensor Application

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re building low power electronics. There are so many different components and technologies to learn that it can be hard to know where to begin. Recently, a MistyWest client wanted to redesign their field-deployed IoT environmental monitor to a smaller, lighter, and more power-efficient package with longer battery life …

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Designing a Successful Wearable Device Through User Research

Product development that is driven by design and technology, and not user experience, has led to the creation of products that failed miserably in the market. Google Glass, Oakley Thump, and Ring are all examples of wearables that were either unfashionable, not ergonomically designed, or breached user privacy – leading to commercial failure and embarrassment …

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Edge Vs. Cloud Computing: Which Solution Is Better For Your Connected Device?

If you’re developing an IoT device, odds are that you want it to do some valuable computations to solve an important problem. Maybe you want to deploy sensors in remote locations, develop a device that can perform data analytics to monitor a renewable energy source, or build a medical device that can use computer vision …

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Azure VS AWS: Selecting a Cloud Provider for your IoT Product

Companies starting design and development on new IoT products have often heard about how cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) can help deploy and rapidly scale their product. Because of this, one of the most frequently asked questions from MistyWest’s clients is “What cloud provider would you recommend we go …

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Embedded Vision: Trends in Batteries, Compute, and Connectivity

For any successful technology, the evolution process is the same: costs decrease, performance increases, and the ability to innovate compounds. At MistyWest, we believe that advances in cell phones, electrical vehicles, and 5G will lead to a revolution in embedded vision – and we’re currently partnering with Renesas Electronics to release a technology that benefits …

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The Top 20 Leaders in Intelligent and Connected Devices

Looking to bridge the gap in meaningful connections due to 2 years of virtual social interactions, MistyWest cofounder Leigh Christie sought a new opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the hardware and intelligent connected device community. Christie conceived the inaugural ‘Top 20 Leaders in Intelligent and Connected Devices’ awards, affectionately known as the Misties, to …

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Enabling Low Power Computer Vision Applications with MistySOM

With the recent rise in computing power that smart edge devices require, the electrical power needs of such systems has increased immensely. This can be problematic for battery powered mobile solutions or IoT systems that are active around the clock, as batteries will drain quickly and require more charge cycles. For a wide variety of …

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5 Reasons To Use An IoT Framework For Your Connected Devices

When entering the connected device market, businesses are looking for IoT solutions that can keep costs manageable, scale effectively with business demands, and keep data secure. In particular, scaling effectively requires proper consideration for provisioning, configuration, monitoring, and analysis of the connected devices because making the wrong decisions early on can get costly later. Getting …

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Developing Hardware with a Distributed Team

Although popular in the software industry for years, remote work was uncommon in hardware development until the start of the pandemic. Manufacturing physical products requires testing, debugging and iterative design, which often relies on specialized equipment and sufficient space. These factors have limited the growth of hybrid and remote work opportunities in hardware. So, how …

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Make Parts Fit Right the First Time with Exact Constraint Analysis

It’s a tale as old as time – you build your hardware prototype design in CAD and everything fits perfectly, but when your parts arrive from the manufacturer, some parts are jamming and others are rattling around. What happened?     Often, the underlying problem comes from how the mechanical connections between parts constrain how …

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5 Technologies Improving Women’s Health & Well-being

Despite women making up 50% of the global population, the women’s health technology industry (affectionately known as FemTech) experiences stigmatization of women’s health conditions and an underrepresentation of uterus-having individuals in studies. FemTech is projected to be worth $1.1 billion dollars in 2024, but that is a small share of a market that has seen …

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Meet a Westie: Kevin Lockwood, Firmware Engineer and Chief Technology Officer

Kevin Lockwood–better known as Locky to help distinguish himself in a sea of Kevin-identifying Westies–is a Senior Firmware Engineer, our head wireless product designer and most recently, MistyWest’s CTO. His days are often divided between coffee(s), scrum meetings, 1:1’s with members of our Tech team, and attending critical sales calls with the Hustle team. A …

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5 Innovative Assistive Technologies Making Our World More Accessible

Assistive technology can be broadly defined as any tools, software or materials that are developed for people to overcome challenges that result from variations in physical ability. Something as low tech as your prescription eyeglasses can be considered an assistive device, while higher tech would be a motorized wheelchair or a hearing aid. Perhaps most …

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Sweet Retreats: Why Teambuilding Events Are Needed Now, More Than Ever

It’s been a long pandemic.  Industry-wide statistics indicate team morale and engagement are at all-time lows across most sectors and verticals. And it’s no surprise, with the transition to a fully remote workforce, the loss of brick-and-mortar cultures and general burnout & exhaustion across all company levels–most teams are not getting what they need to …

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Meet a Westie: Kristina Pearkes, Firmware Engineer & Tech Lead

At a recent full-day of leadership training with the entire team, when Kristina Pearkes described herself as a competitive person by nature there was a collective chuckle across the room. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Kristina can easily be considered the reigning champion MistyWest’s weekly Agario matches, continuously making everyone tremble as the massive …

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A Letter To My Younger Self on International Women In Engineering Day

To my 20 year old self, You will soon be graduating university with biomedical engineering as your major. I’m happy to tell you that as I write to you today, on International Women in Engineering Day in 2021, you are a Project Manager for an engineering consultancy in Vancouver, Canada. You are leading a team …

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Meet A Westie: Madison Reid, Content Creator & Community Manager

Madison is a bit of an enigma. A Westie OG formerly hailing from Vancouver Island, Madison’s been with MistyWest since the early days. Back when we were just a team of 12, she played a key role in managing payroll and expenses, invoicing clients, doing graphic design work, and helping establish core touchstones for the …

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Improving Dataset Creation for Machine Learning

Written in collaboration with Andreas Putz, Computer Scientist at MistyWest. Introduction Over the past decade, one of the hottest areas of innovation has been to apply machine learning to real-world applications. Google and Amazon are now using machine learning models to transcribe speech to text, interpret language, and analyze images and videos. However, to achieve …

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5 Novel Technologies Enabling a Healthier Planet

“Technology. The cause of–and solution to–all of life’s problems.” – Homer Simpson While the above quote is not exactly what Homer said, it’s certainly applicable when we consider the incredible advancements technology has brought us in the last 150, or 50, or 10 years. Who now can imagine life without smartphones, let alone without electricity …

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Design Thinking in Hardware

Has your business spent time and money developing a hardware product that failed at the commercialization stage because it didn’t meet customer expectations? Have you wondered at what point in product development you lost sight of the user story? A design thinking methodology can help to address these common issues that product development teams face. …

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Meet a Westie: Josh D’Souza, Hybrid Project & Engagement Manager

Josh is a very special Westie. Like most of us, he wears a few different hats, and originally joined the team as an Engagement Manager (MistyWest’s version of account reps) back in the fall of 2018. Coming from an Engineering Physics background in Ottawa, he specialized in power displays and later in applications for consumer …

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From Idea to IRB: Proving Out Data-Intensive Medical Devices

Written by Justin Lam, former Westie. Introduction Data in healthcare is becoming increasingly prominent, with many companies focusing on data insights as a primary value driver. With new IoT developments and technologies, physicians can close the gap between in-office observations and a detailed, complete picture of a patient’s health. Examples of data-driven solutions around preventative …

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What Is The Purpose Of Hardware Prototyping?

What is Hardware Prototyping? When MistyWest was approached by VodaSafe prior to developing the AquaEye, founder Carlyn Loncaric had a proof-of-concept (POC) and a goal: to develop a life-saving piece of technology that can quickly scan underwater to locate drowning victims. Through iterative prototyping, our engineering team was able to develop a hand-held device that …

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Low Power Optimizations for a Bluetooth Connected Wearable

Written by Justin Lam, former Westie. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices have seen exponential growth over the past 5 years, and companies are constantly adding greater functionality to stay connected (such as adding machine learning to low power devices). When it comes to battery-powered IoT devices like wearables, battery life will make-or-break your product for …

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Maria Phelan (Coop Student Extraordinaire)

Originally hailing from Kelowna, BC, Maria joins us as a 4th-year coop student from UBC Engineering, where she specializes in Engineering Physics. Her love of engineering initially emerged while studying biological research and micro-fluids in high school, but gradually evolved an aptitude for things slightly techy-er. She’s performed embedded systems testing and UI programming on …

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The MistyWest Ethics Review Process

Introduction Recently, MistyWest hosted a webinar on the Dark Side of Technology where we talked about the ethical implications society is currently facing as new technologies are developed. The conversation touched on issues like data sovereignty, (un)biased machine learning, and the increase in civilian/private access to technology previously only available to the military.     …

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How To Train Your Wearable Device

Introduction Leveraging ML Components to Unlock Powerful Low Power Applications Motion Sensors, or Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs), in wearable connected devices have long been able to internally detect limited human interactions (such as tapping) and in some cases, very specific orientations (such as a wrist tilt) while using low power consumption. Detecting complex motions, like …

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Advancing the UN SDGs

Do you want to have a positive global impact through your work but don’t know exactly how? Positive impact has always been part of the MistyWest DNA. We went from having roots in sustainable technology development, and have grown to tackle new technology problems; from computer vision systems that optimize agriculture processes, to IoT devices …

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Emerging Tech in 3D Printing

Written by Phil Tsao, former Westie. Introduction In our 3D Printing series, we brought you an Introduction to 3D Printing, a Guide to FDM, SLA and SLS, and a Guide to the Exotic. As a tailpiece to this series, we’ve compiled a guide to emerging tech and cool trends within the 3D printing and additive …

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Climate Action: So Hot Right Now

Cowritten by Madison Reid and Oleha Riden At MistyWest, our foundation is rooted in sustainable design – our first projects were designing electric vehicles and fuel cells for hybrid vehicles. As the company has evolved over the years, we’ve worked on smart IoT monitoring, ubiquitous air quality sensing systems, off-grid appliances for developing countries, and …

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SFDW 2019 Opening Weekend

San Francisco Design Week is a week-long, multi-event festival in the Bay area that showcases creativity, innovation and intersections of many different industries.We work with many great teams in the Bay Area, so SFDW has been on our event roster for the past 4 years, and during 2018’s Design Week studio crawl we even partnered …

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Teardown: Simplehuman

Written by Phil Tsao, former Westie. Introduction MistyWest’s mechanical and physics team recently put their skills to the test on a fluid dynamics project that required a low cracking pressure check valve designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, and allow passive draining of water. During research, we came across a family of elastomer check valves …

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Timelock Puzzles With VDFs

Written by Ryan Walker, former MistyWest employee. Proof of work is the traditional method of forming consensus on a distributed network; it relies on an arbitrary set of decentralized nodes which are all solving similar hashing puzzles. Unfortunately, PoW has a non negligible carbon footprint and as a response, researchers have been building alternate consensus …

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Teardown: Sensirion

Written by Angela May We had the recent opportunity to tear down a Sensirion SPS30 Particle Matter Sensor. This was an exciting opportunity for us, as we have experience developing particle sensors, and we haven’t seen air quality sensors in such a tight form factor. The device boasts “superior accuracy” in an “ultra-slim package”, and …

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SXSW 2019 Roundup

As MistyWest continues to blossom into a consultancy of flowering sales and marketing initiatives, the variety of events that we send Westies to in an effort to water the seeds of partnership also continues to grow. This was our second SXSW, and this year we sent Oleha Riden, Rebecca Apostoli, Dave MacLeod, Dan Millar and …

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CES 2019 Roundup

CES always seems to hit us like a fever dream; the bright lights of the Vegas strip, the deafening noise of the conference centre, the fast-paced rush of trying to see as much as possible on never-enough sleep–it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. And then we find ourselves groggy, bodies aching, …

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It’s All About The Ears

This post originally appeared on Isobar’s ‘The Squeeze‘. Every year at CES, the first place I visit is Eureka Park. Typically, it’s the best combination of optimistic technology, naive startups, audacious inventors, and freaky gadgets that barely make sense. If you want to see what CES 2023 is going to look like, go to Eureka …

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What is Inclusive Design?

Have you ever had an interaction with a piece of technology- be it hardware, software or even a basic household tool, and been struck by the ease or simplicity with which it helped you accomplish your goal? Every day we interact with good design and in most cases we’re not even aware because the experience …

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SXSW 2018: Must-See Events

This is the first time a team from MistyWest will be attending the annual South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, TX. Every year thousands of technology companies, start-ups, speakers and superfans converge in the southern Texas town to pitch products, share ideas and network. We’re so excited to be sending down four Westies  to …

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CES 2018 Roundup

This year MistyWest was pleased to send a team of seven Westies to our third Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the harsh desert climate offered up torrential rain, flash floods and power outages–our team successfully battled trials of a different variety: formidable crowds, sensory overload and the Nerd Flu. While the #CESsomale hashtag …

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Robotic Steve II: Eyes

Written by Ryan Walker, former MistyWest employee. As you learned in the first part of our RoboSteve series, we are building a Machine Learning and Machine Vision platform inspired by our office dog Steve. There’s only one thing biological Steve loves more than food, and that’s playing with his girlfriend Miso. In order to emulate …

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Low-Cost Waterproofing

Written by Senzeni Mpofu As a team, we are pretty comfortable developing products that can withstand even the most extreme of environmental conditions. We have made electronics for use in extremely dusty conditions. We tackled innovation for prolonged exposure to subzero temperatures – both in the Arctic and on ski slopes. We have even contributed …

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Robotic Steve I: Origins

A few weeks back, a handful of brave Westies began a quest to build a robot dog. When this concept was pitched, it was widely regarded as some animatronic dog covered in servos that would walk around – in reality, it’s a Machine Learning and Machine Vision platform. The goals of the project are to …

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The 411 On LiDAR

Written by Div Gill, Engineering Physicist EIT and former Westie   Introduction to LiDAR The term LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging; technically speaking, LiDAR covers a broad range of sensors that use electromagnetic radiation in the visible, and infrared and UV bands to detect distances to objects, and its modern use refers to …

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Breaking Down Handwriting With ML

Written by Justin Girard, former Westie   Classification of Handwritten Numbers When trying to get a grasp on how machine learning (ML) works, it is often useful to experiment with existing ML problems. One popular starting point is the MNIST database (Modified National Institute of Standards and Technology), a collection of image scans of handwritten …

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Hardware Hacking I

Written by Justin Lam, former Westie. Virtual reality pushes the envelope of bleeding edge technology, allowing us to explore and experience worlds beyond our mortal imaginations. It gives us immersion in another dimension, providing an unprecedented medium for communication and story telling. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then virtual reality must be …

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