Today Apple made CarPlay official. Automobile makers who support the technology will essentially be implementing a way for drivers to interact with their iPhone through the car's infotainment system, which includes the car's touch screen, microphone, buttons, etc.
It's important to point out that the cars are not running iOS. Apple would probably never license iOS to anyone, so we're really just talking about something the equivalent of a control protocol and toolkit for rendering iOS app data on an external (car) display.
Why is this relevant to BlackBerry? Because it strikes me as obvious that no car manufacturer is going to ever agree to an exclusive deal where they can only support CarPlay, or Android Projected Mode, or whatever other automotive interaction platform exists.
So every car maker will inevitably need to support a similar feature set as CarPlay for all major smartphone operating systems. And doing this is probably pain in the ass.
Just as BlackBerry wants to make BES 12 the corporate standard for managing smartphones accessing the corporate network, why not have QNX become the dominant middleman to connect any smartphone to any vehicle?
It seems logical to me. QNX already has deployments with a wide range of vehicle manufacturers. It would be entirely within their competency to support infotainment supplementation from a smartphone.
Ten years ago I assumed that every car made today would have fully integrated 3G or 4G radios for permanent connectivity, navigation, etc. I'm surprised how few cars are actually net
connected. But now with smartphones becoming so highly penetrated in the marketplace it makes sense that cars may not need their own cellular radios at all. The car could just connect to the smartphone, which means that every time the smartphone maker updated the device software, the car automatically gets new infotainment features.
Tell me why QNX — a division of BlackBerry — isn't the perfect company to dominate this market. This way, even if BlackBerry 10 isn't successful in the handset or automotive market, BlackBerry can still play an enormous role in selling secure control.
If we extend this beyond the car, I wonder just how far down this rabbit hole we could go.