BlackBerry Transitions to Your Car Via QNX

Research In Motion (RIM) makes the BlackBerry line of smartphones and now has some plans for your car. I speculated earlier this year that RIM’s acquisition of QNX Software Systems from Harman signaled that the company was going start expanding into the ‘smart car’ sector. Besides being hard at work building the BlackBerry Tablet OS for the Playbook that will eventually transition to RIM’s smartphones, QNX has demonstrated a ‘Nokia Terminal Mode’ with the BlackBerry to link the phone to a car. Video after the break!

QNX Using VNC Protocol to Connect a BlackBerry to a Car:

Interesting stuff isn’t it? QNX Software Systems a bunch of experience building integrated devices for cars besides their industrial and military know how. RIM certainly might have a winning acquisition on its hands. QNX’s BlackBerry Tablet OS is starting to shape up nicely and will offer full support for Adobe AIR 2.5 and Flash 10.1. That is on top of the rumors of virtual machine abilities to run Android apps and legacy BlackBerry OS apps.

The way QNX’s implementation works is by duplicating BlackBerry OS on the screen. It basically works like an external touchscreen monitor for a BlackBerry smartphone that communicates by the VNC protocol. RealVNC partnered with QNX to build the prototype. Terminal Mode also prevents ‘unsafe’ applications from running when in use. This is to prevent you from playing Angry Birds and careening over a cliff in an app induced stupor. You thought texting while driving was bad? Just wait until people start playing games while they drive.

The coolest thing about RealVNC’s VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is that it is platform independent. Developers can use it to link other smart devices to the car in a similar fashion. Yes, your iPhone or Android can theoretically do the same thing. Even Mac OS X uses the VNC protocol in Apple Remote Desktop as an option to connect to the desktops of computers running other operating systems.

Are you ready for your smartphone to seamlessly connect to your car’s navigation and media system? It was only a matter of time until smartphones were a large enough market to gain such strong attention from the automotive industry. BMW and other automobile makers are working on their own systems as well. Hopefully standards like VNC are adopted so smartphone and car manufacturers can focus solely on making the experience as good as possible instead of having to spend time just getting the car and the phone to talk to each other.

Tell me what you think of what QNX has done here. Impressed?

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