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Version 8 “Hummingbird” takes flight.

From concept to implementation, from struggle to perfection. Story of a version naming.

It was nearly two years ago, while still working on version 7, when we decided that our product, the LoRaWAN® Network Server, was mature enough to deserve a name.

Yes. A proper name like for MacOs or Android versions.

We sifted through dozens and dozens of ideas: constellations, planets, rocks, minerals, plants, flowers, animals, ancient Greek mythological characters and... birds.
The latter was the category we decided to dwell on. It seemed appropriate, as LoRaWAN® is a long-range wireless data transmission technology.
Data, like birds, covers great distances through the air.

Having decided on the category, the next step was to choose the species of bird that would represent our release. Version 7.

And again, lots of proposals, our slack channels filled up with bird photos (from pigeons to flamingos, arctic terns and sparrows, from swans to penguins), bird descriptions, wing size and breadth, distances covered in flight and so forth so on.

If you follow us, you already know that back then we opted - it has cost us quite a few iterations - for the “Osprey”, a raptor, an elegant cosmopolitan (i.e. spread all over the world) bird of prey. The Osprey represented our solution quite nicely - globally present, strong, reliable, robust and scalable. We had just finished a major refactoring job to strengthen these characteristics, so the name was a perfect fit.

osprey official logo
LORIOT Network Server "Osprey" was officialy announced on the June, 18 2021

Months later, as version 8 was taking shape, the topic came up again.

What will be the name for this major release?

A hard task

After all the work that went into choosing the first naming, I admit that I doubted we would be able to find a name that could summarise the essence of the new version of our solution as effectively.

I was wrong. In fact, it was surprisingly easy.

The proposal came after a short brain-storming meeting. No endless list of names and photos, no exhausting research. It just came out like that. A person from the sales team came up with it.

Welcome Hummingbird

I liked this naming straight away and immediately visualised the many correlations with what we wanted to communicate about the new release, that was meanwhile being announced in private beta.

Wondering what these related elements are. here they are:

  • First of all its dimension.
    The small size of the hummingbirds seemed to us to be a perfect homage to the micro-packets of the Telegram Splitting Multiple Access (TSMA) method at the basis of the mioty® protocol (one of the main novelties of version 8).
  • Second, the movement of the wings.
    The hummingbird flies by drawing the shape of an inverted 8 with the tip of its wings. 8 as the number of the release and at the same time the symbol of infinity, an excellent metaphor to represent the Massive IoT that we want to enable with this release. The same goes for the impressive number of wing beats per second (up to 80. A real record among birds)
  • Hummingbirds are absolutely special and unique birds.
    They have the amazing ability to hover in one place for up to 50 minutes, fly backwards, and upside-down. They are able to do these things because their body structure differs from other birds. This uniqueness resonated exactly with our latest version. Something new on the market, different and innovative compared to what our main competitors offer.
  • Lastly, but I admit this is almost a coincidence, with version 8 we redesigned the user interface and improved the user experience. The hummingbirds, with their beautiful and colourful liveries were a perfect fit here too. How lucky was that?

collage picture of hummingbirds

We found the name we were looking for and everyone was thrilled when I officialised it with the rest of the team.

From the naming to a logo

So I sat down to work with the logo.

This time I wanted to do it myself, indulging my passion for digital graphics and also because I felt the need to experiment with various options. I am not a professional graphic designer so please forgive me if I do not explain the technical details of the realisation with the appropriate terminology.

What I actually want is to explain why I chose for specific elements and what I wanted them to express. Because, ultimately, graphic representation is also communication.

In creating this logo, I wanted to avoid the cliché of characterizing technology products with geometric and symmetrical lines. I chose soft lines and non-symmetrical figures. After all, this is the first hybrid version of our network management system. The hummingbird would not be symmetrical but in profile.

collage picture of hummingbirds

I also wanted to create a contrast between the sharp lines, right angles and strong character of our company logo, and the soft, rounded lines of the naming of version 8.

The attempt was to visually represent the greater flexibility introduced by this release. Our customers will now be able to choose between two protocols, LoRaWAN® and mioty®, or even build a hybrid multi-protocol infrastructure based on the needs of each use case and its context.

With the presence of so many wing shadows I precisely wanted to highlight the multi-protocol nature of our solution but, at the same time, also dynamism and speed. These are characteristics of the hummingbird but also attributes of a version delivering improved performance and a smoother user experience than before.

collage picture of hummingbirds

Finally, the number 8. I wanted to include the version number in the design because I think it is important to reinforce the concept that, although new and innovative, this version is the continuation and the evolution of our product first released in 2015.

Today, the same as back then, we are pioneers. Today, the same as back then, we are among the first movers. In 2015 with LoRaWAN® and today with mioty® whose potential we definitely see and in which we have decided to invest our efforts and resources.

This release is packed with all the experience, know-how, passion and ambition that have defined us since our very first steps.

collage picture of hummingbirds
Our hummingbird has taken flight, and we are eager to see how far it will go.

Dario Maccarrone

Dario Maccarrone
Chief Marketing Officer