The Real History Behind Tech Brand Names We Say Every Day
Ever wondered what an Asus is or just how a wireless communication standard relates to a someone’s rotting blue tooth? You might be surprised to find that many of the top brand names in tech were inspired by mythical creatures, historical figures and Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods. Here are the 10 most interesting.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Nick Beer
Asus says that its name is taken from the mythological horse Pegasus. In Greek mythology, Pegusus is a winged, white horse who is the son of Poseidon, the god of water. He was ridden by the mortal Bellerophon in an epic battle with the Chimera, a fire-breathing creature.
Eventually Zeus, the king of the gods, transformed Pegasus into a constellation. This winged horse has symbolized wisdom as far back as the Middle Ages. Asus says that the company “embodies the strength, purity, and adventurous spirit of this fantastic creature, and soars to new heights with each new product it creates.”
You might not know that Asus also has a manufacturing arm called “Pegatron.” So that’s where the beginning of the horse’s name went!
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Toshauna
Strix, Asus ROG Strix gaming brand
Asus continues to mine the depths of mythological animals with its gaming brand, Strix. The Roman poet Ovid describes the Strix in his poem Fasti as a large-headed bird with a beak, hooked claws and grayish-white wings. The nocturnal bird feasted off the blood of children and was considered a bad omen. The creature was often seen as owl-like and eventually the name was used to classify a genus of actual owls.
Today, the Strix owls are medium sized, nocturnal, do not have ear tufts and feed on small mammals and birds. Asus emphasizes the owl’s superior hearing and eyesight. “Strix means feeling your environment so that you detect and react to the slightest movement. Strix means survival on the very edge of instinct. Strix is in your blood, as it is in ours,” the company says in its branding. Gamers may be quick, but let’s hope they are sticking with energy drinks for their stamina instead of the blood of babies.
Image Credit: Asus
Bluetooth technology was named after a real person – King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, who lived over 1,000 years ago and was known as the uniter of Norway and Denmark. He was also known for a horribly dead tooth that appeared to be blue. When the heads of Intel, Nokia and Erickson met to discuss the standardization of short-wave connective technology, they looked to King Harald Bluetooth for inspiration because, as Jim Kardach from Intel said, they hoped to “unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.” The Bluetooth logo combines the Younger Futhark runes (Hagall) (ᚼ) and (Bjarkan) (ᛒ) to form King Harald’s initials.
Image Credit: House - Bluetooth.com, Public Domain
Toshiba Memory America recently announced that it will be renamed Kioxia America in October. What does Kioxia mean? The name is "a combination of the Japanese word kioku ( 記憶), meaning 'memory,' and the Greek word axia ( αξία ), meaning 'value,’” the company said. Toshiba hopes that the amalgamation serves to further the company’s vision for memory products. “The word ‘memory’ means much more than simply recorded data. To us, it represents the comprehensive collection of emotions, experiences and ideas beyond digital information gathering,” said President and CEO Yasuo Naruke.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Razer Naga Gaming Mouse
Razer is well-known to gamers for its three-headed snake logo. What might be less known is that the company’s entire line of gaming mice are named after legendary snakes. Harry Potter fans will recognize both the Naga and Basilisk names. The former is known in Hinduism and Buddhism as a half-human, half-divine serpent that lives in the netherworld, while the latter comes from Greek and Roman mythology of a snake who kills with a glance. Other snake names in the Razer mice lineup include the Deathadder, the Lancet and the Abyssus.
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Team Group’s Cardea SSD brand
Team Group says that their Cardea SSD is named after Cardea, the goddess of storm. However, the most recognizable goddess by that name is actually the goddess of hinges. The Roman goddess Cardia is also known as the goddess of the door, as Roman doors were often hung on pivot hinges. Even if the Team Group’s brand were not named after this particular goddess, it’s nice to think that a component manufacturer is paying homage to a deity of ancient hardware.
Image Credit: Team Group Inc.
Lenovo was founded in the 1980s and was known in English as “Legend” for the first 20 years of its existence. In 2002, the company decided to change its name and branding. The name “Lenovo” came as a combination of the words “legend” and the Latin word “novo,” meaning “new.” The “new legend” continued to expand around the world and is now a Fortune 500 company.
Image Credit: Tom's Hardware
SilverStone is known for making power supplies, storage, computer cases and other PC accessories. Its Nightjar line of fanless power supplies provides a great way to passively cool your rig. However, the European Nightjar, for which the line is seemingly named, is actually a small, nocturnal bird that breeds across Europe and parts of Asia. Perhaps the company used the name “nightjar” because the birds are quiet, since they are awake only during the evening hours. In any case, it’s great that a company is bringing more attention to a sweet, small, insect-eating bird.
Image Credit: Joxerra Aihartza
Noctua, manufacturer of PC coolers and fans
Noctua, an Austrian company, is also named after an owl. Athene noctua, otherwise known as the “Little Owl,” is a small, gray-brown, spotted owl that feeds on insects and lives in agricultural and woodland areas in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. In Greek mythology, the owl is associated Athena, the goddess of wisdom and intelligence. Noctua’s logo intelligently combines the face of an owl with a circuit board.
Image Credit: Arturo Nikolai from Galicia, Spain
Aorus, Gigabyte’s gaming brand
Gigabyte is rumored to have named its gaming brand after the Egyptian god Horus. Horus was the god of the sky and was depicted as a man with the head of a falcon. In an Aorus video from 2014, a transformer-like falcon mascot is introduced from an image of hieroglyphics that include the image of Horus. Even if the brand were not expressly named after the famous Egyptian god, the company has clearly been influenced by Horus’ iconography.
Image Credit: Aorus