Video: QNX CEO talks BlackBerry PlayBook OS at DEVCON 2010

Here's a clip of QNX CEO Dan Dodge speaking at BlackBerry® DEVCON on the new QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook OS.

Dan provides a quick intro to the QNX architecture, including its reliability and realtime performance, and discusses how it powers everything from cars to wind turbines to Internet routers. But most of all, he focuses on what QNX technology brings the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, including bred-in-the-bone multicore support and tight integration with Adobe AIR.

Enough blather. Let's watch the video:

Yesterday, RIM launched the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, as well as a new BlackBerry PlayBook simulator. For details, click here.


RIM releases BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR

This just in: Research In Motion (RIM) has launched the new BlackBerry® Tablet OS SDK for Adobe® AIR® and the new BlackBerry PlayBook simulator. According to the press release:

  • The SDK integrates new extensions for Adobe AIR that have been highly optimized for the BlackBerry Tablet OS
  • Developers can immediately begin building applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
  • Early feedback from developers highlights ease of development and high performance
For details or to download the SDK, click here.


Adobe MAX: Developing AIR apps for the BlackBerry Tablet OS

If you're attending Adobe MAX this week, be sure to catch Julian Dolce's session on developing Adobe AIR apps for the BlackBerry® Tablet OS.

Julian's a dynamite speaker (catch of glimpse his style here), so I promise you'll stay awake for the entire session. He's going to demonstrate key features of the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK, as well as how to publish apps for it.

Julian will deliver his presentation twice: Monday, Oct 25, at 2 pm, and Wednesday, October 27 at 3:30 pm.

To register for Julian’s Session, click here.

Julian's Twitter handle: http://twitter.com/juliandolce

NEWS FLASH: Earlier this morning, RIM announced that the new BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK and BlackBerry PlayBook simulator are now available for download. Click here for the full skinny.



I'm on the ARM home page!

It's not every day that the world's largest processor IP company (15 billion chips and counting) publishes a blog post authored by yours truly. In fact, this is the very first time.

The blog post in question provides a quick tour of the QNX concept car that will be showcased in the upcoming ARM Techcon conference in San Clara. The ARM connection? The car contains two systems, a digital instrument cluster and multimedia head unit, based on ARM-powered Freescale i.MX51 processors.

To read the post, click here. BTW, here is where I appear on the ARM home page:

Video: Guided tour of QNX concept car at SAE Convergence

Recently, I introduced you to the digital instrument cluster and multimedia head unit in the new QNX concept car, a digitally pimped-out Corvette, which made its debut this week at SAE Convergence.

Well, grab some popcorn and dim the lights, because here is a video of my colleague Andrew Poliak giving a guided tour of these two systems. The video, taken by Jason Rzucidlo of AmericaJR.com, was taped on the Convergence show floor:



Videos: QNX Support for Terminal Mode and Apple iPod Out

Earlier today, I mentioned that the head unit in QNX Software Systems' new concept car can seamlessly access a host of smartphone applications — everything from apps that find your friends to services that track down the closest available parking spot. To enable this access, QNX supports several technologies, including Terminal Mode and Apple iPod Out.

Good news: QNX has posted videos that demonstrate how these two technologies work. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and discover how your car and your smartphone are about to become a lot more intimate:

Note that both these videos were shot in a Toyota Prius, which has served as the demonstration vehicle for the QNX CAR Application Platform since late 2009. This week, QNX is showcasing these same capabilities in its latest demonstration vehicle, a Chevrolet Corvette.

You can also view these videos on the QNX website: Terminal Mode, Apple iPod Out


Report from Convergence: Clusters, Connectivity, and Quotable Quotes

My colleague Nancy Young is doing double-duty as a field correspondent, attending events at SAE Convergence and reporting on them in her blog, Forever Young.

She's already posted several entries, so I invite you to take a gander:

  • What are little digital instrument clusters made of?

  • Freescale SABRE rattling at Convergence

  • Convergence 2010 booth visitors speak out about their connectivity priorities

  • Connected Car 2.0 at Convergence 2010: Why the Corvette?

  • How is Gen Y changing the automotive landscape?

  • What will the auto industry look like in 2012?



    Smart phone, equally smart head unit

    Yesterday, I introduced you to the digital instrument cluster in the new QNX concept car, a specially modified Chevrolet Corvette. Today, let’s look at the car's multimedia head unit, picture here:

    Among other things, the unit demonstrates how car infotainment systems can access a host of applications on smart phones and other mobile devices, such as maps for finding restaurants and geosocial apps for locating friends. In fact, the head unit supports two modes of mobile-device interaction:

  • Terminal Mode — Replicates the smart phone screen on the head unit and allows steering wheel buttons, touchscreens, and other in-car user inputs to control the smart phone. Also enables the head unit to access new mobile phone applications as they become available.

  • Apple iPod Out — Enables the head unit to display content from an iPhone or iPod touch, including music menus and album art, and to support new iPod features without software changes. Also allows users to view an interface they are familiar with.

  • These descriptions only scratch the surface of how these technologies work. For instance, the specification for Terminal Mode, which is still in development, includes provisions to reduce driver distraction, such as mechanisms that lock out unsafe apps while the car is in motion. (QNX has produced a couple of videos on these two technologies; I will provide links later this week.)

    The head unit isn’t a one-trick pony. It also offers:
    • a reskinnable user interface (HMI) based on Adobe Flash

    • Pandora streaming audio, Webkit browsing, and Google Maps with local search

    • iAnywhere Bluetooth and hands-free calling

    • A virtual mechanic that gets OBD-II trouble codes from the vehicle CAN bus and displays them in an interactive graphic
    The virtual mechanic is especially cool. As I've mentioned elsewhere, it doesn't fix your car for you, but it can tell you when things are going south and help you take appropriate action, before the problem escalates. In fact, it can even help you find the nearest gas station or dealership.

    Like the digital instrument cluster, the head unit for the concept Corvette was built with the QNX CAR application platform, which you can learn more about here.


    Goodbye analog, hello digital: A new instrument cluster for the QNX concept car

    This week, at SAE Convergence, QNX is showcasing its brand new concept car, a digitally pimped-out Chevrolet Corvette. The car is equipped with a head unit that talks to smart phones (more on that in a subsequent post) and a digital instrument cluster that can reconfigure itself on the fly.

    This dynamic reconfigurability is a dramatic departure from traditional analog clusters, so let’s start with that. For example, here is the cluster in “straight up” mode, showing both the speedometer and the tachometer:

    Click to magnify.

    Now here is the same display, but with a speedometer and a navigation app:

    And here it is again, with a speedometer and a weather widget:

    It’s easy to see how this dynamic configurability could simplify driving in the real world: Put the car in drive, for example, and you see a navigation display; put it in reverse, and you see a backup camera. Very cool.

    Road proven
    Speaking of the real world, I know of at least two companies using QNX-based digital clusters in actual vehicles. The first is Land Rover, which uses a QNX-based cluster in its 2010 Range Rover. The other is the MTA Group, an international auto supplier that builds technology for some exceedingly cool supercars.

    According to an article published in the MTA Journal, MTA chose the QNX Neutrino RTOS for their digital clusters because of “its extremely fast startup times, high-speed functionalities and support for graphics display controllers…”

    Reference implementation
    To build the cluster showcased in the Corvette, the engineers at QNX took advantage of QNX CAR Application Platform, which includes, among other things, a reference implementation for building digital clusters. To find out more about QNX CAR, click here.

    Technical deep dive
    BTW, if your job is create a digital instrument cluster, check out the technical article discussed in this blog post.

    It's a connected Corvette!

    Last week, I teased you with glimpses of the new QNX concept car, which is set to make its debut at the SAE Convergence auto show. Well, no more teasing. Here is the car — a digitally pimped-out Corvette — in all its decaled glory:

    Click to magnify.

    Stay tuned: Over the next couple of days, I will invite you inside and reveal some of the goodies embedded in the Corvette’s dash. These include a digital instrument cluster that can dynamically reconfigure itself and a head unit that can talk to smart-phone apps.

    BTW, the Corvette will also make an appearance at ARM TechCon, which will be held November 9-11 in Santa Clara. (Hm, I guess that means that the cluster or head unit is using an ARM-based processor...)

    To keep up to date on the car and the many QNX demos at the Convergence conference, subscribe to the QNX Twitter stream, twitter.com/QNX_News.



    A (slightly) closer glimpse of the new QNX connected car

    A few days ago, I provided a tiny glimpse of the new connected car that QNX plans to unveil at SAE Convergence 2010.

    I still can't reveal the vehicle model — sorry about that. But at the risk of teasing you too much, here is a slightly larger photo, taken yesterday, that shows the decal design on the passenger-side door:

    The vehicle includes a multimedia head unit equipped with some interesting mobile connectivity features — more on these next week. It also has a digital instrument cluster that can reconfigure itself on the fly as the vehicle shifts from one drive mode to another. The cluster displays multiple virtual instruments and information modes, including this trompe l'oeil tachometer:

    The SAE Convergence conference starts this coming Tuesday, so it won't be long before I can give you the full skinny.



    Is QNX about to unveil a new connected car?

    I can't say much yet, but it looks like QNX Software Systems will be demonstrating a new connected car at the upcoming SAE Convergence auto show.

    For almost a year, a Toyota Prius has served as the demonstration vehicle (pun intended) for the QNX CAR Application Platform. It was a great choice for showcasing the connected capabilities of QNX CAR, and still is.

    But here's the thing: New capabilities are being added to the QNX CAR Application Platform all the time. And using the exact same car to demonstrate these new capabilities just doesn't work, marketing wise. In any case, it's important to show that QNX CAR can bring cloud and mobile connectivity to all kinds of vehicles.

    The question is, what kind of vehicle would best serve the goals of demonstrating next-generation automotive connectivity? Whatever it is, it has to be cool and quickly recognizable. It also has to simplify the task of demonstrating connectivity features to a crowd of onlookers. That narrows the choices considerably.

    Stay tuned, as I will be able to reveal all in a couple of days. In the meantime, check out the survey at the top of this page and vote for the kind of vehicle *you* would choose.