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.


  1. Ever since the PlayBook was announced, I saw one thing (not the only thing) that can help PlayBook adoption and acceptance more than anything else. GPS and automobile integration. I know you guys are old hat to the game.

    I'm aware that the PlayBook has a GPS chipset in it, but not sure of it's capabilities, quality, robustness etc... I've always hated taking my GPS along with me when I have a PlayBook that should be able to do the same thing, and do it BETTER!!

    I suggest the following (I know that there are probably not enough of you QNX guys/gals right now).
    1. Make a double DIN installation kit for automobiles. Think audio/Bluetooth/satellite radio/GPS integration with your car!
    2. With an installation kit, the PlayBook can recognize that it is installed in a car and prevent things like playing movies and other things that shouldn't be viewed by a driver while in motion (although you could enable video out to a screen in the back for the kids).
    3. Partner with TomTom, Garmin or both. Show them that this is the future. TomTom and Garmin don't only need to be in the GPS hardware business to make money. They can be in the app business too.

    This can be a QNX/RIM success that iPod was to Apple!

    I promise you... Having a PlayBook that has built in GPS system that does not need a data connection (like standard GPS), has video out for my kids in the back seat, Bluetooth and decent mic and/or optional mic input which could read my incoming email etc, etc, etc... would sell like crazy. Not to mention, all the things it can do when you pull it out of your car and take it into your home! You could call it PlayBook Phoenix. I'm modifying my car to accept a PlayBook that is removable right now. It will replace my car audio/navigation system at a fraction of the price I would have paid for some other aftermarket solution. It will almost look like it came from the factory that way. :-)

  2. Hi Ben! I'm not an expert on integrating devices like the PlayBook into the car (other folks on the team are way more qualified on that front), so I can't comment intelligently on your thoughtful suggestions. That said, your ideas remind me a bit of the illustrations in this CrackBerry article, in case you haven't seen it:

    In any case, this sounds like a cool project! I would personally love to see pix once it's done -- Paul L of QNX Team Auto

  3. Yes, I'll be happy to forward the pictures when complete. There will be a USB input to the PlayBook just ahead of the Shifter and an HDMI port in the rear passenger area for Video connectivity. Charging the PB will be integrated with the vehicle as well.

  4. Hi Ben! I'm sure Paul will be tickled to see your pictures but quite frankly I'd be more excited to see your resume. - Nancy of QNX Team Auto

  5. Hi Ben, Michael here from the PlayBook Moon Landing team. Your project sounds excellent. We would appreciate it if you could send the pics to as well. Can't wait! Thanks.