My name’s Adrian Dance, but everyone calls me Snow…
On account of the fact that I had white, blond hair when I was a kid. You might call me a techie or a technology enthusiast. I’m one of those people whose largely self-taught in the worlds of computing, technology and engineering. I have a DIY approach to the use of software and hardware, and think that with the right advice, anyone can improve their lives through greater use of technology.
My professional background
Although I’m mostly a self-taught technical person, my work has often brought me into close contact with technology and the development of technical solutions to practical problems. Based in Roxburgh, I was an ambulance officer for many years before founding the Central Otago Land Search and Rescue group in 1989. As Operations Manager for this organisation, I directed teams of police and LandSAR volunteers in search and rescue operations in Central Otago. This work led to me receiving a Queen’s Service Order (QSO) in 2015. It also led to my development of the technology tool Find Minder.
Find Minder was designed to be worn by search and rescue dogs, and builds on a dog’s natural ability to seek out subjects where humans cannot. In search and rescue situations, it allows rescuers to get to a missing person in a matter of minutes, saving time and resources. Find Minder is connected to a global positioning system (GPS) housed in a jacket worn by a trained dog. Each jacket has electronic tags, one of which is removed by the dog when it locates a missing person. Once removed from the jacket, the tag begins transmitting a long-range direction finding signal that can be picked up by searchers.
I developed this system using a mixture of proven direction finding and GPS technology that maximises the effectiveness of a key part of my work. It’s a great example of what people can build with technology, just by using software and hardware in their own homes. Now patented in the US and NZ, Find Minder is the type of invention we will see more and more of as the Internet of Things (IoT) only grows in importance.
Why I built this website
My love of gadgets and building things, had given me a reputation in the community as the go to person for questions about technology. After answering a lot of these, I realised there was a need for a place where people could go for information and tips on technology, and introducing the IoT to our lives. Automating processes in a house or workplace, can lead to huge savings in time and money, but also requires guidance on the finer points of the technology. That’s what The IoT Pad offers: up-to-the-moment technology information that you can trust.
What made me the expert
Because I am working with the IoT currently, there are frequently occasions when I come across a new technology that’s going to improve people’s lives and save them time and money. The IoT Pad will be updated with information about these new technologies as well as expert advice that is current and relevant for the home user and a range of industries. Our website will provide a guide for those who want to upgrade their homes and businesses using the IoT.
You may be looking to automate the heating/cooling in your home using the IoT. Setting up a system that knows when you are not about and can adjust settings accordingly. Or automatically setting the temperature to be at a comfortable level before you enter the house. We offer support for this, as well as answering questions about things like having proper security monitoring around your home or business. I know from personal experience that the IoT offers almost limitless potential, and more and more things are coming on the market all the time.
Press, testimonials and awards – qualifications
Being awarded the QSO in 2015 was definitely a lifetime highlight. You can see me receiving the award from the Governor General.
Developing Find Minder was a career highlight, and I was rewarded with a grant for the technology from Industry New Zealand.
Adrian Dance (Snow), Founder of The IoT Pad