blackberry

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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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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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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Playbook first tablet to be FIPS certified

July 22, 2011
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The Blackberry Playbook is now the first tablet to gain FIPS certification, which means that it meets US government standards for data security and encryption.  Playbook also won Best in Show and Best of FOSE in handheld devices at the federal government IT conference in Washington DC this past week. This certification and these awards […]

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Living with Playbook, two months later

June 15, 2011
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When RIM launched the BlackBerry Playbook in mid-April, I grabbed one and started using it.  You might have noticed that I didn’t write about it the time.  The same as other writers, my initial take on the Playbook was that it had a lot of promise but wasn’t ready for prime-time.  Some websites didn’t work, […]

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RIM: Re-imagining “Phone” again

May 30, 2011
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The knives are out for RIM’s top management, but the financial press is missing the boat as they focus on short-term results. In 2002, the company remade the fledgling smartphone industry by releasing the first devices – Blackberry 5800 series – with integrated enterprise class email.  The arms race was on, as Microsoft and Palm […]

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Don’t be afraid to kill old business lines.

December 13, 2010
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Successfully transitioning from a current product to a next generation, without damaging the business today, is one of the toughest balancing acts in business.  That’s the challenge that the darling of the Canadian mobile market, RIM, faces today. Friday afternoon a customer casually asked me what I thought of RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’ session at […]

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RIM’s new strategy PlayBook

September 29, 2010

RIM’s new PlayBook looks pretty nice, doesn’t it?  At least from what we can see, anyway.  Launched a couple of days ago, its high pixel density display, snappy dual core processor, gobs of OS RAM, and Adobe Flash support (!) make it a very interesting entrant into the tablet market. In fact, let’s go one […]

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