You know, I'm starting to warm up to the idea of firmware updates. Case in point: A few years ago, I bought a portable photo viewer equipped with an 80G hard drive. Just a few days ago, I downloaded a firmware update for the viewer and discovered that, in addition to adding features, the new firmware boosted performance.
My PlayBook is another example of a device that, through updates, keeps getting better. Ditto my digital camera. Even camera lenses these days benefit from firmware updates.
Mind you, firmware updates aren't just for consumer products. They're also making headway into more "industrial strength" applications, such as the QNX-based QLn mobile label printer from Zebra Technologies. Using this device, retail stores and healthcare organizations print just about every kind of label you can imagine: price labels, mark-down labels, sell-by labels, shelf-edge labels, specimen labels, pharmacy labels... you name it.
In applications like this, firmware updates aren't just cool or convenient; they also make business sense. For instance, they can reduce downtime by eliminating the need to send the device away for servicing. And they can increase return on investment by extending the working life of a device.
Earlier today, QNX announced that the QNX Neutrino RTOS will power Zebra's portfolio of printers, including the QLn. According to Victor Salmons at Zebra, "QNX has given us a proven platform that allows us to upgrade our printers easily in the field, and that gives us the reliability, scalability, and performance we require, given the demanding work environments our products are used in.”
To read the press release, click here. To learn more about the QLn printer, click here.