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BlackBerry embraces IoT with new platform

BlackBerry smartphones as well use the QNX OS.
BlackBerry smartphones as well use the QNX OS.

BlackBerry used the International CES event to launch its IoT (internet of things) platform, formerly known as ION, which will initially focus on the automotive and asset tracking industries, both less glamorous than smartphones and consumer devices but still worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The platform, Blackberry says, will "leverage the company's extensive technology portfolio", more specifically when it comes to security and reliability.

The platform uses QNX RTOS (real time operating system) that is popular amongst device manufacturers that bet on its mission-critical capabilities to get things running.

Also woven in is BlackBerry's network infrastructure (which handles around 35 petabytes of data per month) and its device lifecycle management software.

In the medium term, BlackBerry wants to expand its IoT strategy to two other very lucrative markets, the smart energy and healthcare sectors.

The Canadian company unveiled ION back in May 2014 after a four-year gestation period and the initiative is headed by the former Sony-Ericsson CTO, Sandeep Chennakeshu.

BlackBerry shares have fallen by more than 85% over the past five years but have picked up over the last 12 months or so.