Monday, October 3, 2011

Ready to Rock and Roll !

Paul Leroux
What single word best describes a perfectly executed piece of art? More often than not, I would choose the word seamless. Because when a painting, song, or story is done right, nothing feels out of place. Everything fits together so well that, almost magically, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

The same principle applies when you design a vehicle. Whether it's a dune buggy or an ultra-luxury sedan, your end product should evoke a consistent vision and emotional appeal. People don't want dune buggies with walnut dashboards, nor do they want Bentleys with rollbars. They want a vehicle, and a vehicle brand, that clearly embodies what they value most, be it styling, safety, reliability, or performance.

Well, that's the theory. But putting it into practice isn't easy. For instance, people now expect their cars to integrate with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. By satisfying this demand, automakers have a real opportunity to win over consumers. But how does the automaker provide this integration without losing control over the user experience, and without sacrificing their brand identify to that of a third-party device? And lest I forget, without sacrificing safety?

Consumers, conditioned by smartphones and tablets, also expect in-dash user interfaces to be slick and intuitive. To create these interfaces, automotive developers are tapping into HTML5, Adobe AIR, OpenGL ES, and specialized toolkits. Problem is, none of these is a magic bullet. None addresses every problem. But what if you could take the best of each and seamlessly blend the results on an in-dash display, without breaking a sweat?

These are the kinds of problems that QNX is tackling. To create compelling products, our automotive customers must integrate numerous mobile and UI technologies, so we've created a platform to help make that integration as clean and simple as possible. I keep thinking of the 1950s, when some innovative musicians fused multiple styles — blues, boogie-woogie, country, gospel — into a thrilling new musical form. You've probably heard of it; it's called rock and roll. That's the kind of exciting synthesis we want to enable.

Simply put, we want to make our customers rock stars. Because when you create an automotive platform, you are judged by only one criterion: your customers' success. Little else matters. And speaking of stars, we've enlisted some remarkably knowledgeable and insightful people to contribute to this new blog. I can say that with confidence, because I have the privilege of working with many of them every day.

So buckle in, because it's going to be a great ride. Our goal is to keep you up to speed on what matters in automotive infotainment. Sure, we'll talk QNX now and then, but we're going to take the high road and cover everything from data plans to driver distraction. So make sure you don't miss a single post: subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter at @QNX_Auto


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