Menu
BlackBerry to take on IoT headaches with Project Ion

BlackBerry to take on IoT headaches with Project Ion

Working from its QNX platform, the company will offer a cloud-based platform for back-end development

BlackBerry says it can take back-end software development off the to-do lists of enterprises that want to take advantage of the Internet of Things.

On Wednesday, the company showed off concept software for a cloud-based service on which enterprises will be able to create IoT applications. That service, due by the end of next February, is designed to get customers over the development hump to collecting data from networked machines and making use of it to improve their operations. BlackBerry says it will be able to securely manage data from millions of end points across multi-device, multi-platform environments.

The demonstration at a conference in San Francisco marked the debut of Project Ion, a series of initiatives to inject BlackBerry into the hot IoT industry where some of the biggest names in technology are already active. The 30-year-old mobile company, best known for its once-dominant business handsets, comes to IoT through its QNX division, which provides operating systems for industrial equipment and vehicles.

The hope for IoT is to collect data about machines and human activity in real time, from many sites, and derive insights from it to better run operations and serve customers. But with a wide range of sensors and other connected equipment in the field, and floods of different kinds of data, that's not an overnight task. IoT cheerleader Cisco Systems plans to introduce an application enablement platform in the next few months. BlackBerry sees its own opportunity to help make IoT happen.

"Our goal is to be the simplest and easiest way for you to build an Internet of Things application," said Alec Saunders, vice president of BlackBerry's cloud business. "It's a platform that lives in the cloud that you can use to build applications that will allow you to securely collect and manage and analyze the data from the devices that you have in the field."

In addition to the cloud service, BlackBerry will provide a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) for extracting data from devices and from the cloud, as well as an architecture for agents to run on connected devices.

BlackBerry says the platform is powered by QNX technology and by BlackBerry's secure enterprise mobile management smarts, but it's not limited to connected devices that run QNX. For the device agents, the company will offer reference implementations for QNX as well as for Linux and give developers other ways to build agents for particular devices, Saunders said.

One major problem in IoT is the proliferation of specialized legacy protocols. BlackBerry has a mechanism to convert incoming data to a normalized format, and as a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium, it's working with Cisco and others to push for standards, Saunders said.

BlackBerry has invited developers and partners to participate in a private preview of the service starting in June and will launch a beta test in the latter part of this year. The service should be commercially available by the end of BlackBerry's fiscal year, which ends in February, Saunders said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileinternetBlackberryNetworking

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments