A major part of the BlackBerry 10 Jam Conference is the breakout sessions and labs presented by RIM and other developers on a wide range of BlackBerry development topics. The big focus is of course BlackBerry 10 and the Cascades UI framework (I’m sure I will be blogging about that soon). But there are some other interesting sessions lined up, one of them being:
“The Automotive Market for BlackBerry 10 Developers” presented by QNX’s Andy Gryc
The QNX operating system is already deployed in more than 30 million vehicles worldwide, and BlackBerry®10-based systems will be the foundation for many next generation in-car infotainment systems. A merger of mobile and automotive platforms represents new market potential for BlackBerry® app developers using BlackBerry® 10. Learn how a car infotainment system is structured, and the differences between car and device platforms. This is an ideal introduction to the automotive market for the app developer looking to move into this space.
With BlackBerry 10 powered by the QNX operating system, BlackBerry 10 developers will have the opportunity to build apps that span smartphone and tablet devices, but also the embedded automotive infotainment systems that QNX and their partners are putting into cars. These infotainment systems typically come loaded up with GPS navigation, media and voice controls, bluetooth, internet connectivity, and deep integration into the car’s systems and controls.
Obviously not all apps will translate well to in-car use cases, given the very different environment and accessibility. These systems are also used while driving the car, so alternative voice and steering wheel controls often are used. Apps on these screens must also be easy to use and designed to reduce driver distraction.
To get a good idea of where RIM and QNX are taking the BlackBerry 10 platform for automobiles in the future, check out this video from Mobile World Congress 2012 of the QNX Porsche – decked out with a PlayBook integrated into the dashboard, NFC connectivity, and two PlayBooks in the headrests for back-seat passengers, controllable by the front seat PlayBook.
After signing up for Andy’s session, I got thinking about what sort of apps would make sense to bring to the automotive market. I am sure his session will give me some good inspiration.