Friday, January 27, 2012

HTML5 Hackathon

Learn how to put together HTML5 apps at the HTML5 Hackathon. You'll get hands-on experience with WebWorks, which is the BlackBerry tool for building applications with HTML5.

That'll get you primed for building HTML5 apps for the QNX CAR 2 application platform!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

QNX concept car makes detour at TI headquarters

Guest post by Kroy Zeviar, QNX strategic alliances

My colleague Mark Rigley must feel (justifiably) proud these days. He is, after all, head of the team that created the new QNX concept car, which took home a Best of Show award from 2012 CES.

You'd think that Mark and I would be anxious to get home after a hectic, albeit gratifying week at CES. And indeed, we were. But we made a slight detour and stopped over in Dallas to show off the car to our friends at Texas Instruments.

Everyone loved it. The car, based on a Porsche 911, takes advantage of TI's OMAP4 and wireless connectivity solutions, so folks were naturally excited to see what their technology had helped enable.

Better yet, TI brought in a pro photographer to take these cool pix...

Upwards of 400 folks came out to see the car

Checking out the new head unit and digital cluster

Mark, in the passenger seat, giving one of many demos

Best of CES 2012 winner. Woo-hoo!

This shot is just cool.

And speaking of cool, a huge shoutout to the TI OMAP and
wireless solutions teams for all their great support!


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Coolest Cars at NAIAS

Here's the Cliff Notes version of North American International Auto Show industry preview. (Cole's notes for my Canadian followers.)

The show was a great one, especially compared to last year. Industry people were there from across the globe, and most of the exhibits were packed. (The pictures below that were absent of people required patience, timing, and retakes.)  NAIAS was strong, despite some debate about how it may be losing relevance with Europeans or Asians. Jaguar LandRover was missing this year. But it's still the show where the big three pulls out all the stops; very few other major automakers want to risk being absent.  Cobo hall was filled with absolutely massive displays of new models, concept cars, and interactive displays from Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Hyundia, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, and many others.

There was a lot to see.  Unfortunately due to my other show duties, I didn't get a lot of time on the show floor.  What I saw was pretty darn cool, and here are the highlights.

Smart Art

Not your father's Mercedes

Honda Fit - an Insightful design

The ultimate jacked suspension on a Ford Raptor

F-150 King Ranch.  Sweet! (Except I don't do leather)

Chevy Miray concept.  Holy gull-wing, Batman!

Miray from the back looks just as wicked

TRU 40S — another very cool GM concept.  Love the white satin  finish

Lexus LF-LC.  Concept based on Lexus LFA.  Looks fast (that's why it's blurry).

LF-LC from the rear.  This is the view you'll normally have, but far smaller.

Nothin' but sliver Porsches.  Drool.

VW Bugster.  Combination bug and roadster.  Huh.

Via.  Don't know what it is, but it sho' looks cool.

Audi R8GT.  Nice side vents to cool off those brakes.

I just liked this mini hung up on the wall.  Looked cute — want one in my den.

BMW concept car.  Tron, anyone?

BMW Active Hybrid; a little more practical than the above pic

Audi e-tron

Audi RS 5 Coupe -- aggressive grille!

Another Smart concept car--perfect for the city (bikes in the back)

Chrysler 700C.  Now this is a minivan any man would agree to

Another view of the 700C

300SRT8.  Didn't know SRT made normal cars

SRT Challenger

SRT Yellow Jacket - Starsky

SRT Super Bee - Hutch

Thursday, January 12, 2012

QNX drives home with a Best of CES award

Paul Leroux
This just in: QNX Software Systems has won a Best of CES Award, in the Car Tech category, for its recently announced QNX CAR 2 application platform.

QNX received the award about an hour ago, at the CES awards ceremony in Las Vegas. I'm still kind of pumped and at a loss for words, though two come to mind: WOO HOO!!! :-)

For a glimpse of why the folks at CES think so highly of QNX CAR 2 (and of the QNX concept car designed to showcase CAR 2's capabilities), check out this video from CNET's Antuan Goodwin and the photos I posted on my personal blog, On Q.

The new QNX concept car, which showcases the capabilities of the QNX CAR 2 platform,
features one-touch NFC smartphone pairing, tablet-based rear-seat entertainment, ultra
HD voice technology, and a reconfigurable instrument cluster.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New CNET video takes you on guided tour of QNX concept car

Paul Leroux
This just in: Antuan Goodwin of CNET has posted a video walkthrough of the new QNX concept car, which showcases the many capabilities of the QNX CAR 2 application platform.

Antuan touches on all of the car's salient features, including one-touch smartphone integration, backseat entertainment, video streaming, rich app support, ultra HD voice technology, and the reconfigurable digital instrument cluster. Check it out:


Cool! QNX concept car shortlisted for Best of CES 2012 award

Paul Leroux
This just in: The new QNX concept car, which showcases the many capabilities of the QNX CAR 2 application platform, has been selected as a finalist for a Best of CES 2012 award. WOO-HOO!!! (Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system.)

Other finalists include ├╝ber-cool cameras from Nikon and Canon, as well as state-of-the-art TVs from LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. Dell, HP, Pioneer, and Sony are also in the running.

CNET members vote for who will take home the award. CNET will announce the winners tomorrow at 11 am Pacific Time — stay tuned!

For more photos of the car, check out my post on the On Q blog. And while you're at it, check out the CNET article by Antuan Goodwin.

CrackBerry posts first peek at OnStar RemoteLink for BlackBerry PlayBook

Paul Leroux
This morning at CES, met up with QNX's Andrew Poliak for a walkthrough of the new OnStar RemoteLink app for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

If you aren't familiar with RemoteLink, it provides a very cool and powerful connection to OnStar-equipped vehicles. From the convenience of your tablet or phone, you can access gas mileage, tire pressure, and other information in real time; you can even remotely start your vehicle and unlock its doors.

Cooler yet, the new version running on the PlayBook boasts a user interface built entirely in HTML5. But enough blather from me. Roll the tape...

Did you know? QNX is the core OS for the PlayBook, but it's also the OS for OnStar and OnStar FMW.

The Chassis

Welcome to a new series of guest posts from Matt Watson, product line manager of
Texas Instruments' automotive infotainment group. In this installment, Matt discusses
how a key aspect of infotainment systems can get (unjustifiably) overlooked.

Matt Watson
I had an interesting revelation recently. Last fall I was at Japan’s Narita airport, waiting to board a flight, when someone jostled my backpack free of my shoulder. The backpack crashed to the floor and the impact crippled the screen on my 5-year old trustworthy portable music player (ok, iPod). The iPod would still play music, but I couldn’t “drive” it.

I wasn’t particularly interested in navigating this product blind, so I had already mentally picked out a replacement during my flight back to Texas. When I landed, I got into my car to drive home and, out of habit, plugged the iPod into my car’s USB port and listened to my normal playlist. It didn’t dawn on me immediately, but I soon realized that I was navigating the iPod from the car’s radio UI. So my iPod wasn’t useless, after all, and still provided me with its primary function — audio playback in my car.

Here was my (three-part) revelation:
  1. My wife was right: I bought my car only as an iPod accessory
  2. I wasn’t going to get spouse approval for the iPod upgrade I had already ear-marked
  3. Sometimes we tend to forget the primary function (I had an alternative way to access the control of the iPod even without the display!)
At this point, I’d like to draw an analogy between the automotive infotainment system and the car itself. Let’s consider the infotainment system as a combination of a strong chassis (engine, powertrain, suspension, braking system, etc.) and a body (outside body, seats, user-interacting components):

  • Chassis = radio, multimedia and vehicle connectivity functions
  • Body = user interface, including cutting-edge features that resemble consumer/mobile experiences

In the world of automotive infotainment, the focus of attention is often on the ”body”: the functionalities mirroring the latest in consumer trends. Meanwhile, the workhorse “chassis” is overlooked. No doubt, these consumer-tracking capabilities are important, as they drive innovation, ease of use, and connectivity with existing devices. But I want to focus here on the “chassis” of the infotainment system, which handles radio, audio, voice/speech, and vehicle connectivity, and which exists in every vehicle, be it luxury or entry.

In future posts, I’ll look at some of the areas of innovation that we are driving at Texas Instruments in the area of smart integration from a processing perspective for the infotainment “chassis”. I’ll describe these from a few different perspectives: CPU/peripheral integration, system, and software integration. I’ll also explain how QNX technologies can be leveraged to further the cause of easy integration in the vehicle, including the newer QNX technologies such as the Persistent Publish/ Subscribe (PPS) service, as mentioned by Sheridan Ethier in his recent interview on HTML5.

For now, I’ll leave you with a picture of my (still functioning) iPod — note the blank screen and imagine audio playing back just fine…

Editor's note — Here's a little more about Matt:

Matt Watson is the Product Manager for the TI Audio and Automotive Infotainment Processors at Texas Instruments. At TI, Matt has also held roles managing software development for audio, multimedia, and infotainment groups over the last 10 years. Prior to joining Texas Instruments, Matt held positions at Dolby Laboratories (focusing on low-bit rate audio coding) and Motorola (developing software for floating-point audio Digital Signal Processors).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CES press: This just in!

OK well, maybe not 'just in' but these articles and releases were posted yesterday and are quite exciting if you are following QNX technology:

TeleCommunication Systems Supplies Advanced Navigation for QNX CAR 2 Application Platform

TI Takes The Driver’s Seat With An Unrivaled, Full System Solution For Connected Automotive Infotainment

Gearing up for CES

I arrived in Las Vegas last night, gearing up for the CES show. I know I must be in Vegas: When I woke up at 4:30 am (my body is stuck in eastern time), there was still a buzz around the hotel — people just do not stop here.

I’m looking forward the show. Our automotive development team has been hard at work on some exciting new technology, and I can hardly wait to show it off.

First, we are demonstrating our new concept car, based on a Porsche Carrera. This thing is loaded with goodies to demonstrate how you can use your smartphone and tablet to improve the driving experience. For instance, the car supports Near Field Communications (NFC) pairing: You simply touch your phone to the car and the two become instantly paired — no more fumbling with unintuitive menus and security codes.

The new concept car features one-touch smartphone pairing, tablet-based rear-seat
entertainment, ultra HD voice technology, and a reconfigurable instrument cluster.

We’re also showing a level of integration beyond a simple voice-dialing list. For instance, you can use your phone’s contact list to direct your navigation system or to automatically contact meeting invitees when your car knows you’ll be late for an appointment. We will also demonstrate our ultra HD voice technology, which provides full stereo sound for handsfree calls — you’d have to hear this to get the real impact. It’s like you're sitting right next to the person on the other end of the call. (I hope this works well in the noisy show floor environment!)

We're also launching the QNX CAR 2 application platform, which will allow automakers to leverage the power of the mobile development community and to keep in-car infotainment software fresh for consumers. We are doing some pretty unique things with HTML5, including the ability to write and package applications for deployment to the car. Another cool feature is the ability to dynamically detect and play media that is added to the system – try doing that with a standard browser!

Just writing this has me looking forward to getting started. See you at 2012 CES!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Next week: CES, CTS, AT&T, NAIAS. Phew!

It has been a hectic week back from Christmas vacation trying to get all the last minute preparations ready for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Consumer Telematics Show (CTS) in Las Vegas and the North American International Automotive Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

CES has become a  "must attend" show for automotive, due to the continued convergence between the consumer and automotive industries. (Yes, that's an intentional pun, and SAE Convergence is this year, but thankfully not until October.) Our CES QNX booth is tucked right behind the RIM booth #30326 in the main hall. We'll have some really cool new demos that you'll definitely want to check out! I can't give you details until next week, but trust me they are worth the wait.

We've got QNX representatives speaking both at CTS, which is the Monday before in Mandalay Bay, and at the AT&T Developer Conference which is the Sunday and Monday before at the Palms hotel.

And finally there's NAIAS at Cobo Hall.  I'm skipping CES this year to give some love to my home town.  I'll be back in Detroit, keepin' it old school. If I don't see you there, look me up. Peace out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

HTML5 is a great option for the risk-adverse

The conservative nature of automakers makes them ideal candidates for the brand-spanking new HTML5. Say what?

While this seems paradoxical, it is an interesting take-away from the discussion between TCS' director of engineering Michael Camp and our very own Andy Gryc. If you've got three minutes to spare, watch the latest video in our HTML5 series for the whole story. (As usual, don't miss the ending. ;-)

This interview of Michael Camp is the fourth in a series from QNX on HTML5.