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BlackBerry banking on QNX for new IoT platform

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Handset manufacturer BlackBerry is using its QNX technology to build a public application platform that supports the Internet of Things.

The troubled smartphone maker is the latest company to enter the M2M space and is aiming to build an ecosystem comprising partners, operators and app developers to connect a range of internet connected devices onto its app platform.

BlackBerry bought QNX in 2010 and has put it at the centre of its IoT strategy. The secure applications platform will use its software and BlackBerry's enterprise mobility management solutions to manage data from numerous devices.

Alec Saunders, who will lead Project Ion for BlackBerry, said: "[The] cloud-based product from QNX Software Systems enables companies and developers to quickly and securely take part in the IoT. We’re moving fast to support our vision and today announced that select companies and partners will soon have the opportunity to access an early version of the product.

“It’s a secure platform that can scale globally to handle the millions of transactions and exabytes of data generated by these objects every single day."

The manufacturer said it would also form strategic partnerships in addition to its membership of the Industrial Internet Consortium, which aims to drive standards for connected technologies.

John Chen, Executive CEO and Chairman at BlackBerry, said: "As connectivity costs continue to fall and connected technologies become pervasive, a new market is emerging - the Internet of Things. Billions of connections, generating trillions of transactions and exabytes of data daily, will require platforms that can operate securely on a global scale.

“No other company is in a better position than BlackBerry to provide the technological building blocks, applications and services needed to enhance productivity, improve real-time decision making and deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things."

The move follows tumbling sales of BlackBerry's smartphones after its BB10 operating system flopped badly. It lost more than €4.3bn in its last financial year, fired its former CEO and brought in turnaround specialist John Chen to lead the company.

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