Magazine takes a look at what's new in Tacoma

“A number of national technology publications have been keeping a watchful eye on the City of Tacoma of late as it touts itself–and rightfully so–as America’s #1 Wired City.Start-ups and established tech businesses, those with at least a couple of years under their belts, have been drawing national scrutiny for two reasons: the City of Tacoma offers them up on their welcoming platter as examples of success and as a lure to bring in other tech companies; the companies themselves welcome the attention. It’s a symbiotic relationship that appears to be working well.Inc. Technology, looked over the shoulder of Rob Grenley, co-founder of Grenley Stewart Resources Inc., for its September issue, which drew attention to the changes that have been rapidly transforming the city, both above and below. Above, in new construction and old building renovation, and below, with the installation of fiber optics city-wide.Robert Grenley, whose face adorns the September issue, believes that he and partner Greg Stewart are poster guys for the city’s business successes because of their unique position as co-founders of two companies in Tacoma.We are both an old technology business as well as a new one, Grenley said. Grenley and Stewart established a commercial vehicle fueling business in 1990, then stepped into the technology industry spotlight with the development of their two-way wireless smart chip. The chip, a fourth of the size of a fingernail, can be used in systems to gather and record data. Idmicro was originally created from a need we had in our business, Grenley said. There was no such thing as an unattended commercial weigh scale, so Greg set out to create something new. We were our own guinea pigs.Idmicro developed a programmable tag which is attached to a commercial vehicle. As the truck enters the system’s read zone, the truck tag communicates with the scale computer. On the scale, the truck’s weight and vehicle information is transferred to the computer. The computer sends a message back to the tag and the system stores the data for later reporting and billing.SpeedScale, as the smart chip’s first product is called, is now used in a commercial truck scale in Fife. The system eliminates mistakes in paperwork and data entry.IDmicro’s smart chips’ are now utilized in a number of other products and by a number of other companies. In the transfer of information, our technology can provide efficiency and save companies time and money, Grenley said. Grenley met partner Stewart in seventh grade while both were attending Charles Wright Academy, which is located in University Place. Greg was the president of the student council and I was the treasurer, Grenley said. The relationship has pretty much been the same ever since. Grenley said he’s been excited to see the changes that have been rapidly transforming the face of his hometown.Tacoma is recreating itself and it’s certainly a different place from what it was twenty years ago., he said. You can see tangible results now, and it’s a wonderful time to be a part of the city.Grenley credits the hard work of local politicians and the City of Tacoma’s investment in its infrastructure for the changes that have brought new growth.We’ve certainly gotten our money’s worth, he said.Visit the Inc. Technology website at “