BlackBerry ‘BlackPad’ Going to Use Army’s Crusher Tank Technology? Err…

The new rumor that the BlackBerry ‘BlackPad’ tablet will be using an operating system designed by Research In Motion’s (RIM) recently acquired QNX Software is certainly an interesting one. This has brought a bunch of articles claiming that RIM is going to adopt the software used in the US Army’s Crusher tank-like vehicle. What is the Crusher? It is a massive autonomous robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University for DARPA and the US military. Where does RIM and QNX fit into all of this? The Crusher uses a computer running QNX Software’s Neutrino platform.

Okay, while the Crusher certainly is an impressive piece of hardware, what exactly does software platform designed for weapons systems, medical uses, nuclear power plants and aerospace applications have to do with the BlackPad? Absolutely nothing. QNX will have to build a user interface that people will actually want to use on top of its current technology. There is a massive difference between programming something for the military and programming something for consumers. While I am sure QNX is a highly proficient computer software engineering company in its field, does it really have the experience to create an OS for the BlackPad on the first try? One that will spur sales of the unit and be familiar to existing BlackBerry owners? It’s not like RIM has any room for error here.

So while RIM can go around touting that its recent purchase has the credentials to certainly create some amazing stuff, why isn’t the BlackPad going to just run BlackBerry OS 6? Legacy code excuses seem to be the standard assumption, but shouldn’t RIM be fixing that? Unless of course QNX is working with RIM to make a new OS that will first be seen on the BlackPad and migrate its way into the BlackBerry line of smartphones. QNX could handle the core operating system stuff and RIM could build its user interface, messaging and email stuff on top. That would certainly be an interesting idea.

If the rumors are true, will the BlackPad be a stunning success, a massive failure, or just another tablet coming out into an increasingly more crowded market? Drop a comment and tell me what you think.

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