Launching an interoperable IoT chip

In 2015 I was a Copywriter at a marketing and communications agency in Antwerp. They’re experts at helping high-tech indsustrial giants differentiate themselves and their products in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. One of my favourite projects was the Dialog DA15100 worldwide product launch.

Dialog Semiconductor, with revenues exceeding $1.3BN, powers the smart connected world by designing and building the semiconductors (or ‘chips’) found in all sorts of industrial and consumer electronics. The company’s focus for the past half decade has been on mobile computing and IoT.

The DA15100 was Dialog’s answer to the massive problem of IoT interoperability which, in 2015, was throttling product innovation and slowing the uptake of IoT devices in the smart home.

How can a home be smart if the devices in it can’t talk to each other?

It was my job to craft the story that would convince a global audience the DA15100 was a gamechanger for building interoperable IoT devices.

Process

The agency had a defined process for crafting messaging and value propositions, which I’ve refined and adapted to software in the years since. It was a five-part process:

Market research

Big players had recently entered the market. They were offering their own ecosystems, all of them operating on different networking protocols:

Devices from different ecosystems were unable to communicate. As is so often the case the giants were building themselves walled gardens to play in at the expense of everyone else.

Customer research

This lack of interoperability was making it extremely difficult for designers to create products for the smart home. No one wants to manufacture three different versions of the same product. Even worse, it was slowing the rate of consumer adoption.

Designers and engineers were also worried about security. Competing standards, in their eyes, added insecurity to a market (IoT devices) already perceived as insecure.

I’d found two major pain points:

Product research

I reviewed the technical product specifications and talked with the designers and engineers to get the raw technical capabilities of the DA15100:

Outcome

I transformed my research and the DA15100’s features into a compelling value proposition. Dialog was thrilled but wanted to expand the brief.

Snippet of the value proposition: There needs to be a single secure interoperable solution – one that can talk to all things smart, streamline the development of secure IoT applications, and bridge current gaps between the different standards. The DA15100 secures the future of home automation, providing a simple, cost-effective and interoperable solution for those trying to navigate the IoT standards minefield.

Dialog has huge industry clout. Leaning on this, their internal team had devised an ambitious plan: lay the foundation for BLE and 802.15.4 to become the leading standards for IoT. Then use this as a basis for marketing the DA15100. The deliverables for this campaign were:

The DA15100 went on to propel interoperability across countless IoT devices across the world.


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