DT and Vivokey Naming Conventions

I really do try to limit my questions to Amal, BUUUTTTT, I have been wondering for a while now; and while the majority of the DT products follow an obvious naming convention, Vivokey not so much.
This kicked me off actually asking

I was going to ask on the Vivokey Forum, but thought others here might be interested.
What was the logic / thought processes etc, What was going on in AMALs head to come up with the names??? :brain:
Flex …Duh
xSeries??? why the “x” ( I’m guessing Amal your first-ever implant, you grabbed a sharpie and “X Marks the spot” on your hand and got all stabby :syringe: )
xEM - EMulator and or EM41xx etc
xHT - HiTag
DF- DesFire
xM1 - Mifare 1k
etc etc
Why xG3, not the Gauss, so, was that the 3rd Generation? “Using 3 special processes”? 3mm? Number 3 gauge?
Also interestingly, was your use of Vivo in the xG3 description (permanent in vivo use)

That brings me nicely to VIVOKEY- much less obvious
Vivo meaning “within life” Key -obvious
But what about the original UBIKEY?
Why Spark?
Why One ( FlexOne )
Why Apex ( pinnacle??? of innovation or Vivokey line )
Why Max?

Just curious, and have been for a while, and thought I would put it out there.
We could all play a guessing game, or @amal, you could just put me / us out of my / our misery
unnamed (23)


hah ok so yeah you got the xEM through xM1 correct…

the next thing to happen was the NExT… which was voted on by facebook group poll… even though it broke convention, i was ok with it because people voted on it and i also got comments about my product names being “lame” and “uninspired” … so i figured it was time to just roll with new / better names vs sticking to a rigid convention.

the xG3 came around… and our m31 and m36 were 1) named based on size - m31 was a 3mm x 1mm disc and m36 was going to be 3mm x 6mm cylinder, and 2) not “x-series” (not encased in injectable glass) i figured i should keep the xG3 within the “x-series” convention… so G gauss … and 3mm glass… so xG3.

When it comes to VivoKey, the entire approach for the brand is different. Dangerous Things is very much a brand modeled after my own knee-jerk reactions and impulse style decisions, whereas VivoKey requires a bit more thought and “stepping outside my comfort zone” to ensure it appeals to both DT customers but also people who would be turned off by DT. So, product names are more “creative” and “friendly”.

The UKI was a DT product development idea… the answer to a tough question I asked myself one day “What problem are we actually solving?” … digital identity is a problem worth working on… so UKI = You are the Key… but the name was very Manga sounding and clashed with other products online, and nobody … not one person… not even you above… nobody could repeat it to me. It was instantly forgettable and again, didn’t sit well with people… it needed to evolve, so UKI because VivoKey … vivo being life and “in vivo” being inside the living… and key, well key is obvious.

The problems started then however… quickly I realized there are problems getting secure elements to play well in this space and there would be multiple products released… and the customers who would be interested in this would likely expand well beyond the biohacker and hobbyist market, and finally … for VivoKey to fulfill it’s intention it would need to raise money… nobody like that was going to invest in “Dangerous Things” so VivoKey was launched as a separate company in 2018… but people had already started calling the concept “the vivokey implant”… so I had to create product names to try to differentiate the company from the products… Spark was our first product, followed by Spark 2 when it was clear Apple was not going to support ISO15693 properly, even in iOS 13.

The VivoKey Flex One was named because “flex” was being tossed around for all of our flex products, and I wanted to ensure it was differentiated. As you know it was going to be our secure element implant, but after the beta program revealed fundamental issues with the P60 chip hardware, it was abandoned as a product … the new chip coming down the pipe is able to be put into multiple form factors, but they will all be the same chip inside, so rather than calling each form factor something different, every product that uses that new P71 chip will be under the Apex chip family … the Apex Flex (flex implant), Apex Max (glass injectable), etc. etc. etc.

I’ve given NXP a lot of shit over the years over how the “Mifare” name has become so diluted that it’s basically meaningless at this point… but I kinda get exactly how that can happen… basically it’s what happens when engineer types are in charge of names.


Awesome, thanks for the Answer and insight.
Totally makes sense, I didn’t know the WHY for the NExT But everybody prefers an acronym over an initialism…It still works.
Kicking myself over the UKI, i’m pretty sure I saw a Youtube video where you mentioned that.
At the time it reminded me of the Padlock NOKĒ, I should have remembered that :frowning_face:

Such a big answer,I got the Why as a reason, I won’t ask further for the WHY’s for the WORDs , APEX or MAX


giphy (6)


I just find it crazy interesting! And think it’s awesome that @amal would give the consumer the chance to name one of your products! Such a cool story! It would be really cool to sit down and have a beer with you and hear how everything got started and how you ended up where you’re at today. I have been around some very successful people in my life, one of my customers started a loan company which ended up funding every subway, iron skillet, and Golden corral, ever opened… And another family that we know sold everything they had to sell flowers, in time that small flower stand turned into a shop which would later turn into 1 800 flowers. Success is about a lot of hard work and determination with a little luck… Okay maybe a lot of luck lol. My dad grew up in a single wide trailer (on his dad’s machine shop property) and later opened up his own company doing the same type of thing but in a different city in 1979 and was able to retire at the age of 51. And now I bought his company back from the people he sold to with his help. Business stories are always interesting to me. Thanks @amal for the little teaser lol


Not ImplantMcImplantFace?

giphy (7)


Whenever Dangerous Things finally as an ocular implant of some kind, we know what it should be called!


For the products I make in my side hustle, I adopted the “theme” approach to naming - that is, the product names follow a common theme but bear absolutely no relationship with the products themselves. I make luxury products for a very select elite, so my products are named after nobility titles (Duke, Viscount, Earl…)

The catch with that is, if your theme is too narrow and you create a lot of different products, you can run out of names - as President Electronics found out many years ago (because you know, there are only so many US presidents :slight_smile:) But the upside is, you never have to rack your brain to come up with a name that says something about what the product does: you just have to make sure it’s not misleading (as in, I wouldn’t name one of my inferiorly-specced products King) and it’s not insulting in any language.

Or you can go with the numbering approach (B52, Model 3, 747…) That’s nice and easy too, if unimaginative.

For the few open-source softwares I’ve made, I invariably end up spending too much time trying to come up with a name that captures the spirit of what the software does, that’s not too long, and that’s not already in use by something else so it’s easy to search. And invariably, because I’m not a marketing specialist, and because I quickly get bored trying permutations of acronyms, I come up with a really shitty name. Every. Single. Time. It’s really sad…


Apex because the smart card secure element, in my opinion, is the apex of passive NFC implants… Max because it’s a big ass 3mm glass implant. Nothing super spectacular going on here… again I’m not a marketing guy… I needed names before I started taking about them or things would get messy. :slight_smile:


haha, reminds me of our “new” product at work, 5 name changes during development each time requiring several hours to edit and up rev documents, folders, and relink CAD assemblies.
Marketing can take a running jump lol


No, but still the answer Myself and ?others? were after…Thanks.
I will finally be able to sleep tonight :sleeping:


Like the ONI’s from Altered Carbon [Netflix show]


Haha during development? That’s why you use codenames! But I guess if you’re integrating the name into the design such that CAD files needed to be updated, probably not much could be done… but 5?! Wow.

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Haha, yes during development. We started with a codename and then marketing got involved …

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ugh… were the engineering change costs charged to marketing? some businesses run each department as a kind of separate business, which makes sense when it comes to keeping an eye on how costs are spread across your organization… but my hunch is no, simply because marketing was allowed to do this in the first place.


Yep you got it, small company so no cross billing. I think they would have thought twice as 1hr engineering time is billed as several hundred pound they would have lost a decent chunk of there budget.