Next Up – The Internet of Things

by alec on January 26, 2014

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.  Dean Acheson, American Statesman.

Last Thursday, news broke that I had accepted a new role as the Vice President of QNX Cloud, a new business at QNX (a BlackBerry subsidiary).  As an industry we’re closing in on connecting every phone on the planet — maybe 5 billion in total.  What’s next?  Connecting up all the machines.   QNX Cloud is a business focused on building enabling cloud based technologies for Machine to Machine and Internet of Things businesses.  QNX Cloud is infrastructure that enables a wide range of connected devices (ranging from automobiles to power plants, consumer electronics, and more) to be managed, updated, and remotely monitored.  Our goal is to facilitate so-called “big data” analysis of data coming from these connected devices, and to provide programming interfaces that allow the creation of sophisticated new applications that deliver real business benefit to our customers.

John Chen, writing on Inside BlackBerry, described this move as a “return to his roots”, but I prefer to think of it as a continuation of a path that I have been walking on for most of the past 20 years of my career.  A future that, for twenty years, has been coming “one day at a time”.  QNX Cloud is a developer product, first and foremost.  It’s targeted at networked and embedded devices. To be successful, we’ll need to build an ecosystem, channels to market, and recruit strategic partners.  And because it’s a new initiative, it has many characteristics of a start up.

Wish us luck.

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Last week was a whirlwind for BlackBerry developers.  BlackBerry 10 Jam was the official launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform to the developer community – SDK’s, tools, and of course the BlackBerry 10 Alpha device.

This was a moment we’d been working toward since before DevCon Americas in the fall.  I know there was a lot of pressure to show a phone last fall, but until the SDK’s were ready, and developers could actually use them, there would have been little point.  Instead we steadily built first the PlayBook OS 1.0 SDK, the PlayBook OS 2.0 SDK, and the PlayBook OS 2.0 software release, knowing full well that these releases, accompanied by the over 20,000 playbooks we had seeded into the market, would be a good foundation for the next phase – the actual BlackBerry 10 devices.

The excitement in the air was palpable. Folks started lining up at 7 AM on Wednesday morning to get the first Dev Alpha devices. And by noon, I couldn’t walk the hallways of the show without someone stopping to show me the code they had been working on.

Since then there has been great coverage (checkout the BlackBerry Developer Blog) we’ve been bombarded by requests for Dev Alpha devices from developers who didn’t make the show.  The good news?  We’re going to take the show on the road – so come jam with us in a city near you, and pick up your own Dev Alpha device at the same time.  Check out the BlackBerry Jam Road Show page for more info.

A couple of thank you’s are in order.  Thank you to the developers who came to the BlackBerry 10 Jam last week – you’re investing your energy, time, and money in making not just your own products successful, but ours as well.  Also a very public thank you to all the teams at RIM who have worked for months to pull the BlackBerry 10 Jam off – the developers, product managers, marketing, and of course our very own developer relations group.  Thank you!

Now go code something!  We’ve got a monster of a product to ship together!

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It’s time to hang up the spurs, Alex.

April 17, 2012

Last Friday, YouMail released their latest visual voice mail client for BlackBerry.  At the same time, they put up a blog post telling the world that this was end of the line for the BlackBerry customers – no new work would be done on BlackBerry. I thought it a little bizarre.  As publicity stunts go, […]

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Chatting with @Scobleizer about RIM

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“So, did you see what I wrote?”, he asked? And that’s how my conversation with @scobleizer started.  I had dropped him a note a couple of weeks ago when our Alex Kinsella and he were having a little dust up on twitter, and suggested we grab some time.  Today was the day. “Yes, I saw […]

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Try Something New Today!

January 9, 2012
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I’m in Las Vegas for CES.  I’ve been coming here for industry events for 25 years now.  Yesterday, however, I did something I had never done in all that time.  I rented a car, and drove out of the city to see what else Nevada had to offer besides gambling, hotels, and shows. An hours […]

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Five Killer Travel Apps for BlackBerry Users

January 7, 2012
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Anyone who follows my 4Square updates on Twitter will know that I travel a lot.  This week it was a quick jaunt to Waterloo.  Next week, I’ll be in Las Vegas for CES 2012.  In February I’ll be at BlackBerry DevCon Europe in Amsterdam, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  And in March, I’ll be taking […]

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Happy New Year!

January 6, 2012

It’s been kind of a crazy 2011.  As a result of that, this space has been neglected.  Truth be told, it hasn’t been just due to being busy, though.  It has also been due to figuring out the relationship of Saunderslog.com to my new role at RIM. Last week, Andy Abramson wrote that there used […]

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What’s in a name? Branding your product.

October 31, 2011

I stood at the cash at the local Tim Horton’s (a Canadian doughnut chain), and ordered a “combo” – sandwich, coffee, and a doughnut.  “And which baked good would you like with your lunch, sir?” Baked good.  Wow! Questioned, he explained that “baked goods” just seemed an easier and shorter description than enumerating all the […]

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Raising a Glass to Steve Jobs –-1955-2011

October 5, 2011

I’ve just been sitting and chatting with my parents on the phone. Told them that the first computer I ever laid eyes on was an Apple II.  It was at the CompuMart store at the corner of Roosevelt and Byron in 1978.  We used to head down there after school. The owner, a tolerant guy […]

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Photographing SFO with BlackBerry Torch

October 1, 2011
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I’m an enthusiastic amateur photographer.  Part of my enthusiasm comes from being married to an art photographer, and part of it is fascination with the creative process in the digital age. So, I like to think that I might occasionally take a decent photograph (check out my flickr stream). Last week I was strolling through […]

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