Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HTML5 and the software engineer

HTML5 appears to have a number of benefits for consumers and car manufacturers. But what is often good for the goose is not necessarily good for the developer. Talking to the guys in the trenches is critical to understanding the true viability of HTML5.

Andy Gryc and Sheridan Ethier, manager of the automotive development team at QNX, pair up for a technical discussion on HTML5. They explore whether this new technology can support rich user interfaces, how HTML5 apps can be blended with apps written in OpenGL, and if interprocess communication can be implemented between native and web-based applications.

So without further ado, here’s the latest in the educational series of HTML5 videos from QNX.

This interview of Sheridan Ethier is the third in a series from QNX on HTML5.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Is HTML5 a good gamble?

As the consumer and automotive worlds continue to collide, HTML5 looks like a good bet. And not a long shot either. In fact, the odds are all automakers will eventually use it. But since the standard won’t be mature for some time yet, should you take a chance on it now? 

To answer this, Andy Gryc talks to Matthew Staikos of RIM. Matthew is the manager of the browser and web platform group at RIM, and has over 10 years of software development experience with a strong focus on WebKit for mobile and embedded systems. Matthew co-founded Torch Mobile, which was acquired by RIM for their browser technology.

Andy’s conversation with Matthew is the subject of the following video, the second in an educational series designed to get an industry-wide perspective on HTML5. 

This interview of Matthew Staikos is the second in a series from QNX on HTML5.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What’s HTML5 got to do with automotive?

There’s been a lot of noise lately about HTML5. A September 2011 report by binvisions shows that search engines and social media web sites are leading the way toward adoption: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and plenty more have already transitioned to HTML5. Some are taking it even further: Facebook has an HTML5 Resource Center for developers and the Financial Times has a mobile HTML5 version of their website.

It won’t be long before HTML5 is ubiquitous. We think automakers should (and will) use it. 

To elucidate the technology and its relevance, we’ve created a series of educational videos on the topic. Here is the first in that series. Interviews with partners, customers, and industry gurus will soon follow. 

This simple overview is the first in a series from QNX on HTML5. (Personally I like the ending the best.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seamless connectivity is for more than online junkies

As much as I’m not always enamored with sitting behind a computer all day, I find being off the grid annoying. Remember this email joke?

    You know you’re an online junkie when you:
    • wake up at 3:00 am to go to the bathroom and stop to check your email on the way back to bed
    • rarely communicate with your mother because she doesn’t have email
    • check your inbox. It says ‘no new messages,’ so you check it again 

Even though this joke circulated several years ago, it still strikes a chord. The big difference now is that there’s no longer a subculture of ‘online junkies.’ From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed, we all want to be connected — and that includes when we get behind the wheel. So to this joke I would add:

    • resent driving because it means going off the grid

At QNX, we’re working toward a seamless experience where people can enjoy the same connectivity whether they’re texting their spouse from the mall or checking traffic reports while driving down the highway. See what I mean:

For more information about the technology described in this video, visit the QNX website.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Video: The secret to making hands-free noise-free

Explaining a highly technical product to a broad audience is tough. To succeed, you must reach out to people on their own terms, without being condescending. Most people love a good explanation, but everyone hates being talked down to.

Case in point: The QNX Acoustic Processing Suite. This software runs in millions of cars and offers a benefit that everyone can relate to: clear, rich, easy-to-understand hands-free calls. But once you start explaining how the suite does this, it's easy to get mired in technical jargon and to forget the bigger picture — something that even a technical audience wants to see.

So we dropped the jargon and opted for a creative approach. It involves a marching band, a rock guitarist, and, for good measure, an electric fan with a really long extension cord. Seriously.

Intrigued yet? Well, then, grab some popcorn and dim the lights:

Interested in learning more about this technology? Check out the acoustic processing page on the QNX website.

BTW, companies that use the QNX Acoustic Processing Suite in their products include OnStar, whose FMV aftermarket mirror recently won a CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award.

Posted by Paul Leroux

Brand exposure

QNX has a knack for turning up where I least expect it. Sometimes, I'm even surprised by how our technology partners use it — and I head up strategic alliances at QNX Software Systems. In this case, at least, I can claim ignorance based on distance.

Last week, Tokyo Weekender published a story on Freescale Japan from the perspective of David Uze, the company’s president. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting David knows he’s super passionate about his mission. And arguably, it must be a challenging one, for the market in Japan has a long history of being dominated by national silicon suppliers. But, from an automotive perspective, recent consolidations of some of those suppliers, along with the trend towards standardized architectures, have opened the door for companies like Freescale.

The article talks about Freescale’s planned expansion in Japan, recovery from the earthquake, the advantages of being a global company, and the Freescale Cup, a robotics competition for university students that will be launched in Japan next year.

This, for me, is David’s most interesting comment:

    “The reason I believe we must focus on Japan is because it is the most macro-economically focused culture in the world. Japan is the only country I know of where companies routinely create 50 -year plans to ensure they are a strong economic force in the long term.”

I find this incredible, especially if it applies to high-tech companies. Most would struggle with a concise 5-year plan, let alone 50!

But back to QNX. If you look at the article's opening photo (see below), you'll a car emblazoned with the logos of several Freescale suppliers, including a QNX logo that appears right below the Freescale wordmark. The QNX logo also appears in another photo, on a banner hanging above the head of Freescale CEO Rich Breyers, as he addresses the crowd at an FTF event.

Talk about international brand exposure! Thanks, David!