It’s been almost six months since Alec Saunders became VP of BlackBerry’s newly formed QNX Cloud Business division. Since that time, we haven’t heard much from the division beyond the announcement of Project Ion, a portfolio of resources and partnerships designed to put BlackBerry at the centre of the burgeoning IoT (Internet of Things) economy.
Of course, beyond that vague framework, the official announcement from BlackBerry contained little else. However, that same day, Alec Saunders was giving a presentation at the O’Reilly Solid Conference about Project Ion entitled, ‘Time To Get Personal: a Human-Centric Approach to IoT’. That presentation is now available for all to watch, and presents a concise case for BlackBerry’s intentions with IoT.
Once again pushing the notion that QNX is the underlying OS of the world’s machine-to-machine systems, Saunders claims that “data is at the heart of all the products that we build today. It’s literally changing everything.” The problem he argues, is an overabundance of data. Using the example of one single car (QNX, of course, powers many digital car systems, including Apple’s CarPlay), which can generate as much as 3GB’s of data per month, Saunders states that connected systems are faced with managing exabytes of data created daily.
After announcing that “what is needed is a secure public applications cloud that can manage the Internet of Things and scale to a global basis,” Saunders presents a prototype system to demonstrate Project Ion’s ability to connect a multitude of devices to the cloud and collect and evaluate the data produced. The demo itself (involving jazz bars, of all things) is simple, but enough to get Project Ion’s capabilities across and hopefully build interest in its beta trial this fall.
Disclosure: I used to work for BlackBerry from 2009-2011, back when the Internet of Things was just a glint in the regular Internet’s eyes.