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BlackBerry joins Internet of Things bandwagon with QNX-infused ION project

Blackberry 10 uses QNX as well
Blackberry 10 uses QNX as well
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BlackBerry might no longer be a force to be reckoned with in the smartphone market but it's hoping to become a leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) for businesses.

It unveiled a number of projects, lumped together under the codename Project Ion, at the O'Reilly Solid Conference on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the Ontario-based company says that it is a fundamental part of its vision to offer "end-to-end solutions" for the IoT market, a vision that is loosely reminiscent of what Apple did in the smartphone market with the iPhone.

The three steps of Project Ion include the creation of a secure public application platform (PAP) on which an ecosystem consisting of partners, carriers and application developers will be grown. That will then lead to a number of strategic partnerships to be drawn.

An OS in the cloud

A blog post by Alec Saunders, Vice President, QNX Cloud at BlackBerry, hinted that there's more to come. The internet of things, he said, is just the beginning.

QNX, the realtime operating system that it acquired back in 2010 when it was still called RIM, is at the core of Project ION. Indeed, it will power the PAP and will be cloud-based according to Saunders.

The business IoT market is expected to generate trillions of connections from billions of connection and spawn exabytes of data every day.

Being able to grab even a small slice of that pie - which Cisco's CEO evaluated at $19 trillion - could bring in enough revenue to make BlackBerry relevant in 10 years' time.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.