Thursday, December 4, 2014

Beyond the dashboard: discover how QNX touches your everyday life

QNX technology is in cars — lots of them. But it’s also in everything from planes and trains to smart phones, smart buildings, and smart vacuum cleaners. If you're interested, I happen to have an infographic handy...

I was a lost and lonely soul. Friends would cut phone calls short, strangers would move away from me on the bus, and acquaintances at cocktail parties would excuse themselves, promising to come right back — they never came back. I was in denial for a long time, but slowly and painfully, I came to the realization that I had to take ownership of this problem. Because it was my fault.

To by specific, it was my motor mouth. Whenever someone asked what I did for a living, I’d say I worked for QNX. That, of course, wasn’t a problem. But when they asked what QNX did, I would hold forth on microkernel OS architectures, user-space device drivers, resource manager frameworks, and graphical composition managers, not to mention asynchronous messaging, priority inheritance, and time partitioning. After all, who doesn't want to learn more about time partitioning?

Well, as I subsequently learned, there’s a time and place for everything. And while my passion about QNX technology was well-placed, my timing was lousy. People weren’t asking for a deep dive; they just wanted to understand QNX’s role in the scheme of things.

As it turns out, QNX plays a huge role, and in very many things. I’ve been working at QNX Software Systems for 25 years, and I am still gobsmacked by the sheer variety of uses that QNX technology is put to. I'm especially impressed by the crossover effect. For instance, what we learn in nuclear plants helps us offer a better OS for safety systems in cars. And what we learn in smartphones makes us a better platform supplier for companies building infotainment systems.

All of which to say, the next time someone asks me what QNX does, I will avoid the deep dive and show them this infographic instead. Of course, if they subsequently ask *how* QNX does all this, I will have a well-practiced answer. :-)

Did I mention? You can download a high-res JPEG of this infographic from our Flickr account and a PDF version from the QNX website.

Stay tuned for 2015 CES, where we will introduce even more ways QNX can make a difference, especially in how people design and drive cars.

And lest I forget, special thanks to my colleague Varghese at BlackBerry India for conceiving this infographic, and for the QNX employees who provided their invaluable input.

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