Collaborative Strategy at Digi International AND naming the Xbees better…

Pt 101469

Congrats Rob! Digi is very lucky to have you! Rob writes

I just started a terrific new job! In July, Digi International invited me to join their R&D team as Collaborative Strategy Leader. My mandate is to forge stronger connections with the maker community, discover outstanding new work, help Digi contribute to those projects and support innovation in general.
Some of my cool new role will include:

  • building a thriving developer community
  • locating interesting new projects that can benefit from Digi’s support
  • helping makers get their devices connected to the cloud
  • driving the creation of new examples and kits
  • helping developers publish, present, workshop and teach
  • speaking at summits, panel discussions or other gatherings
  • …and pushing the boundaries with some innovative work of my own

By creating this position Digi hopes to uncover new markets and design new products that engage inventors. We’ll be looking to shine a light on your extraordinary new creative projects. There’s incredible work coming out of design labs, hacker spaces, basements and garages these days. If you’re doing something excellent with XBee radios, or connected devices of any make (we’re brand agnostic), let us know what you’re doing and how we can help you!

As someone else mentioned on Rob’s site, we’d really like to see better naming for the Xbees. We really like series one and sell only those for now, but some customers are convinced that series 2, 3, 4 or 5 is the “newer version” no matter what. Then they buy elsewhere and can’t get stuff to work they way they expect it to.

XBee, series 1 802.15.4 protocol 1mW wireless module, is good for point-to-point, multipoint and convertible to a mesh network point. There are nearly a dozen different types of Xbees. We just carry this one (its the best for all-around wireless communication) in our opinion.

Rob posted a link to this handy chart, check it out ITS CRAZY… we also added this to our Xbee product page (dowmloads tab).

Rob suggest “celebrity maker” names, but we’re not sure that will work out 🙂 But, since Rob is a well known maker, reads this site – we bet we can assist him, with your help! If you have ideas for better naming, post up in the comments!

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  1. YES PLEASE! Everyone should take a moment to look at that overly complicated chart! There is too much branding confusion for the Xbee line. Get rid of the numbers!

  2. How about descriptive names? I know, very revolutionary. Drastic even. But if you think about it long enough it almost makes sense.

  3. I didn’t even know that there was an XBee Wi-Fi and it’s first on the list !

  4. Rob,

    please make the pictures of the hardware modules hotlinked to the product folder. That way, when I’ve made my decision, I can quickly click on the picture of the module I want, and jump to it immediately.



  5. They could just use the product names without the special registered signs.
    Using just numbers makes people think there are iterations of the same product.
    Remember that for the rest of your life.

    This are the little things that matter.

  6. So much great feedback. Thank you!

    1. It’s a complicated space. Remember that these modules are engineered for diverse commercial markets and serve a plethora of different needs across a variety of international regulatory environments. But I still think we can do it better. Numbers refer to physical hardware, not “products” in this case. The product names are in column 3.
    2. Descriptive names are great. The challenge is keeping them short enough. Take a look at column 3 and let me know if you have suggested examples. I’m all ears.
    3. The XBee WiFi is brand new!
    4. Hotlinks are a good idea. I’ll pass this to the appropriate person at Digi.
    5. Again, the numbers indicate physical hardware. In the next version of the chart we’ll hopefully make that clearer.

    XBees are only one of Digi’s cool device networking products. There’s a whole line of ConnectPort device gateways that would benefit from similar naming clarification, so keep those suggestions coming.


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