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BlackBerry's ace in the hole

By Team CrackBerry on 17 Apr 2014 11:05 am EDT
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BlackBerry quietly and slowly exhales as it sits unnoticeably at a table surrounded by other high profile players sporting taller stacks of chips. Nobody's head is turned at BlackBerry's direction but their eyes are secretly watching. The river has quite possibly changed the outcome for BlackBerry, but what cards the other players hold has yet to be revealed.

The world audience waits in anticipation to see if BlackBerry will fold, lose or go all-in. To the surprise of the other players, BlackBerry chooses to go all-in. The tension in the air is high as everything is at stake for them. The other players can afford to lose chips but BlackBerry cannot — not this time. The question on everyone's mind is if BlackBerry is bluffing, but the veteran player sits confidently with an unflinching expression. What does BlackBerry hold that none of the other players hold?

The answer is, QNX.

Is there something more to BlackBerry's QNX than meets the eye? There may be. Let's explore a probability that the competition has quite possibly overlooked. Recently BlackBerry invested in NantHealth for Integrated End-to-End Healthcare Solutions. If this puzzles you, it shouldn't. Many analysts and even Business Insider have said that healthcare innovation and technology is "the next trillion dollar industry." Even former Co-CEO of BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis, who was named "Visionary of the year" last year by Intelligent Community Forum, has moved his interest into commercializing technological breakthroughs in the field with equipment such as the medical tricorder. I mention Mike Lazaridis because he's responsible for the decision of acquiring QNX while he was CEO of then Research In Motion, and also reportedly tried to purchase BlackBerry back in October 2013 with partner Doug Fregin. Although it didn't happen it still makes you wonder why.

Is there something more to BlackBerry's QNX than meets the eye? There may be.

Is there something Mr. Lazaridis envisioned that everyone else hasn't fully realized? Why would he step down as CEO and then try to make a bid for the very same company less than two years later? We can speculate on a number of things but there's something about QNX and the healthcare industry that ties into BlackBerry's future that needs to be observed.

Hospitals around the world have QNX embedded in most of their medical equipment — from ECG equipment to various monitoring devices. Technology Review reported that malware across network-connected hospital devices and systems were "rampant" in 2012. A real-time solution to this has yet to be found. BlackBerry has publicly stated that, "Healthcare is one of the key industries in which we have unique advantages and this investment (NantHealth Solutions) reflects our commitment to maximize our opportunities there."

If you read in between the lines you can see something materializing here. The medical industry's lifeline is reliable security and communications — the very same elements that make up BlackBerry's DNA. The beauty of QNX is that it can be modified and embedded in a great number of ways. It's also compatible with a wide range of open-source technologies such as Java, HTML5, OpenGL ES and Android making it a suitable OS for developers. The QNX framework already supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC, and with BlackBerry rolling out a full-featured QNX Cloud Platform in the near future, it may very well be a huge turning point for the company's embedded technologies.

The beauty of QNX is that it can be modified and embedded in a great number of ways

The venture into the Healthcare industry is a tailored made evolution for BlackBerry. Recently NantHealth and Blackberry have confirmed that they are working together on developing a smartphone specifically for professionals in the healthcare industry slated for a late 2014 early 2015 date. BlackBerry had said:

"This investment and planned collaboration aligns with the reliability, security, and versatility of BlackBerry's end-to-end solutions – from the embedded QNX operating system powering complex medical devices to secure cloud-based networks to instantaneous information sharing over BBM Protected and will include a device as well."

Omar El Akkad from the Globe and Mail, who has also reported on this stated, "For BlackBerry, the health-care industry represents a lucrative opportunity for a number of reasons. Unlike the education sector, where Google, Apple and others have aggressively marketed their products, the health care mobile technology market is still largely up for grabs. And whereas many consumers have been ambivalent to BlackBerry's traditional selling points of heightened security and reliability, such traits are highly valued in an industry where the security of patient information is sacrosanct."

The good news is there isn't much competition in this sector if any at all. The other major players such as Apple and Google cannot penetrate this market because medical devices and the like are highly regulated. These companies don't have much experience navigating the FDA's process and also cannot provide world-class security and communications on the highest level with reliability like BlackBerry can.

"Mr. Chen is positioning BlackBerry for a future as a more partnership-driven service provider in sectors where he knows the company can compete and win," Mr. Levy of Globe and Mail said. Perhaps Mike Lazaridis did indeed have a vision that many of us have yet to realize…one where BlackBerry's influence spreads far greater than just the consumer market and into the sky's limit.

BlackBerry currently sits unnoticeably at a table surrounded by other high profile players sporting taller stacks of chips. And they sit confidently with an unflinching expression. This is no bluff.

Article Written by Jubei Raziel

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

BlackBerry's ace in the hole

377 Comments

No doubt Mike L is a visionary with BlackBerry, the tablet before Apple released the iPad but he certainly put BlackBerry in this spot when he dismissed the iPhone and said no company will sacrifice BlackBerry's security for the iPhone.

Well guess what many companies are already doing that!

Hopefully this move works out for them really well.

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

As a user of BlackBerry z10, I believe Qnx is not a optimised os. For example BlackBerry os 10 uses more than 1 gb of ram. Also cpu usage is very high when running an application. However ios needs only 250 mb of ram and can run in device with low power such as iPhone 4! I think it is better blackberry should work more to optimise Qnx.

However I still love my z 10 and keep it because my device is unique and do not see in other hands.

Posted via CB10

Your BlackBerry is doing far more than an iPhone. No Hub on an iPhone, for instance. Processes running on QNX can always be improved but the OS, QNX, is extremely powerful and robust.

That is ignorance at its best my friend!! Apparently you did not read the article or you just are a bit of an iPhone creep.

Z10 my baby...

It is not QNX OS fault that soo much memory is being used. The problem is that they have Android, Native and Air. If everything is native in terms of the application layer then you can really optimize. This is why 10.3 will see air go away.

Posted via CB10

Browse the forums a little. There was some experimentation where some one got it to run on less than 1gb RAM.

I am currently running os 10.0.10 On the Dev Alpha device A (which has only 1GO of RAM).

Posted via CB10

The only reason why the specs needed to run bb10 is high is because of the graphical user interface (GUI) if you strip that away the os kernel doesn't need that much ram or cpu power to run as with any operating system in fact qnx is one of the smallest and efficient kernels only 10,000 lines of code which is like comparing a flyer to an encyclopedia.

Posted via CB10

Keep in mind that A. Once the layer of Adobe AIR is removed we will see better RAM optimization and B. The Android Runtime has yet to see an upgrade to 4.4 where the RAM use should see optimization similar to Android devices as well.

Edit: On top of this IOS has been optimized for 7 years not 1.5 - 2 via BlackBerry 10

I'm thankful that it's not like iOS.

When I swipe up on my Q10 from an app to switch to several other active frames and return to the app, everything is the way I left it.

On the other hand, my iPad can only run one app at once. I have lost so much typed data on evernote and other apps because I had to four finger swipe up to see a pdf or something and then returned.

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T

Yes! I like this new writer, Jubei Raziel. I hope to hear more from him. He's a good writer, matter-of-fact and polished. Welcome to CrackBerry, Jubei!

It is good to see that there is a planned smart phone in the works specific for the health care industry.

It is unfortunate that the press has put BB down for loss of share of the phone market.
There is a perception, by the media and 'company analysts', that BB = only consumer smart phones. With these new phones, software, and other hardware, it will show there is more to the company.

Also, entry into the health market will bring fast positive cash flow. Whereas, 'hardware only' requires long term, expensive development with uncertain saleability.

Hey, Jubei, you write better than a lot of journalists. No sensationalism - good solid writing. Keep it up!

need some international flavour! tired of the one way north american view on everything tech!! especially as Asia seems to adopting and using tech faster than you average american these days.

Ok... girls got their stud, can we get a hot chick now on the roster? Make her Asian to diversify as others mentioned.

RDG Z30

I'm working on a submission. Started it the day of the article you put out.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Great move hiring Jubei, Kevin. This guy is a top notch writer and he gets it! Well played, sir.

Posted via CB10

Ok, all you guys gotta stop this man-crush thing, lol. ;-)

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Yea Jubei is dreamy and sexy.. and he writes well!!! Love his Articles. Very insightful. *Drools*

Posted via CB10

Second?! Two posts in and already past the regular crew in my book! Definitely a fresh perspective with thorough and interesting writing.

Yup, I agree. Jubei's articles have a fresh enthusiasm that compliment the usual familiar tone. This is an interesting article, I read it slowly and enjoyed the read.

Until this article I couldn't visualise the environment where anyone would use the 5 inch 3 row qwerty device we've seen recently but now I can.

Posted via CB10

Great article. Great read.

There is a chance these phones might actually become hot as "doc phone" or something. Just takes the right slant on the buzz and it could take off in directions totally unexpected....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

They need to rebrand a lot of stuff
BB10 -> QNX
Q ->BOLD
and so on. Also, should move forward with new things, instead of backtracking again

Sorry this has all been said before. Qnx is reliable but bb10 on top of Qnx is not reliable.
Unless blackberry have drafted in talented engineers that can utilise the advantages of Qnx then I don't see this changing

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

You can't artificially separate the two as they are interconnected. BB10 is well ahead of Android on a reliability scale (don't even get me started) and more flexible than iOS.

I wouldn't say they are interconnected. Maybe they are in the context of BB10, but the whole point of a microkernel OS is that it isn't closely coupled with the services you put on top of it.

Sorry using Android I have not had half the issues that is on bb10. Blackberry is not exactly reliable these days

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Could you please expand on your comment that BB10 is not reliable? I would like to see where you're coming from on this one.

It's not reliable? Funny, I haven't had any issues with my BB10 phone yet. Not at all something I can say for ANY of my friends with Android. They reboot (out of necessity) as often as me with my old BB7 device and the battery pulls... Probably more actually...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

But psh, what would I know right? I only use one every day as my primary, and only, phone. It's not like I would know how reliable it is or anything... :-P

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

And don't forget all these people who come on here and knock qnx which is on everything and try to make us believe there is a better base kernel out there. They know everything too as well.

Posted via CB10

There are people out there that don't have 100% reliable bb10 devices. I had a Z10 from Aug to Dec and had daily random reboots and a battery the would last at most 6-7 hours with very LIGHT usage. Unfortunately I had to downgrade to an iPhone. Everybody's experience with BB10 is different.

Have you simply tried another Z10? It could have been a simple hardware defect with that one, might not have to do with the BB10 OS...

I got a replacement unit a few days later after my original purchase for the battery issues. My second unit had the same exact problems and then I surfed the forums and learned I wasn't the only person dealing with the battery. So I lived with it for as long as I could hoping an update would come soon from BB/AT&T.
Regardless BB spent/had A LOT of time designing both the hardware and the OS, they absolutely should have known better than to put such a small battery into such a big phone. Yeah I could have spent money and bought the charger bundle but I don't believe in those kinds of additional accessories. Out of the box I should be able to get at least 8-12 hours on light usage. Sorry for ranting.

Ah, but the reboot issue didn't rear its ugly head right? Anyway, I agree with the battery life. I have a Q10, so I love the battery life in my phone. I know my phone outlasts every one of my friends' phones, including every iphone. My Q10's battery went below 20% yesterday for the first time in months, lol. And I actually use my phone for a lot of things...

BB10 unreliable? John Chen begs to differ.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Very well written article! The health field will only become more lucrative, and BlackBerry is making a good move getting involved. I can't wait to see where their investment takes them.

Posted via CB10

Good read but way to much patting Mike L back.

Way off on that!

BlackBerry is where it is now due to Mikes ego and lack of living in the real world.

He only wanted BlackBerry back to help mend his hurt ego. Nothing else.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

Didn't mike L not want to do touchscreens as he said that product was not differentiated from the competitors? Isn't this the course that BlackBerry under Chen us taking based on market response including the re-introduction of the tool belt. Perhaps he was the greatest visionary.

Posted via CB10

Um, no, Chen has never said he doesn't want to do touchscreens. Chen just confirmed an high-end all-touch phone is definitely coming soon...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

doesn't BBRY have a new 'ace in the hole' every six month or so? Generally when the last one falls? I'm wondering what is left?

"QNX for dancing robots"

More seriously, I'm slightly baffled by the idea that there "isn't much competition" in the highly competitive high profit medical tech field...

but why does it come down to Android and iOS? That's the problem - a myopic focus on consumer mobile and how that can be rammed into other sectors regardless of what is actually happening in those sectors and who the major players are.

Look, despite all the huffing and puffing from the Tech crowd about Apple and Google going mobile in cars and regulated settings like hospitals, what have they brought to the table. Zip, Nada, the big goose egg. Why is that? Not enough money, I don't think so. Face it, it all comes down to software design, their myopic view of mobile computing and their inability to adapt current platforms to M2M applications.

I'm no expert, but I would think it boils down to those two because they're the platforms that developers who build apps used in the medical industry are building for.

If you're a doctor and know of apps for client data or syncing with particular devices is available on one platform but not on another, that's going to affect your choice of device.

I'm sure most if not all the apps currently being used were probably commissioned by medical device companies and/or others, and I'm sure they asked to have the apps developed for one of those two platforms because, quite frankly, that's what the majority of people use.

Again, just a stab in the dark from me on this subject as I have no sources or personal experience to draw from.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

And that's were the Android runtime will definitely come handy, and more than that...

Now dropping fancy Adobe AIR and concentrating on the other ones including Android makes even more sense. Ability to run these Android apps means industry -specific apps available right from the start, possibility to port and tap into a much larger pool of app developers to gain time until native solutions appear.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

exactly .....recording a ECG and sending the info to be viewed is dummy medicine , helpful but not mission critical but getting that data but then allow communication to your implanted ICD thats where the Poker game begins !! Ah yes with security as the paramount feature !!

iOS will charge me 4 times the cost of a new oxygen machine for my oxygen while android may get some malware that will turn the oxygen in my machine to carbon dioxide while it has a screen with adwords about death and air pollution.

 We have apks cuz we need 'em not cuz we want 'em 

Jubei, I love your writing! Keep it up!

PROUD to be the 1%! Z10 on T-Mobile, 32 GB PlayBook - Posted via CrackBerry 10

Nice read!

I like the way you write. Are you a story writer in some sort? There's a talent in you the way you narrate the scenario.

Posted via CB10

Yeah. Kevin gave up. Sad. Not sure I blame him. His personal finances are Dependant on technology so he has a vested interest in diversifying his portfolio.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Thank goodness he gave you a job here, because it looks like you need to eat something. You need to fatten-up you poor soul! You are wasting away to nothing. All your bones are..... wait a minute, i just put my glasses on, and I hate you :) lol.
Great article!

Very informative and great description of other players.

BlackBerry will own the medical communication field soon!

Posted via CB10

Slowly but surely BlackBerry is making moves. Can't wait to see how all of this pans out. p.s. I like your writing style Jubei.

#PoweredByBlackBerry

Awesome writing and right on the spot. We need as much as possible of this positive outlook on the future.
Thanks

But QNX is just the vessel, and they can't control someone else's crappy or flawed use of it. That's like blaming Intel for Windows Vista.

Have you ever seen the comment that the more expensive the car, the worse the entertainment system and the more it costs? The reason is that the development cost has to be amortised over fewer units. That's why the Toyota unit that is almost universal across Europe is pretty good (made in millions) whereas the stereo in a Porsche is a multi-thousand-dollar afterthought. Some top end cars still have resistive touchscreens, or no touchscreen at all.

This is another reason BBRY needs to come out with a Playbook 2 in an 8" form. Also, BBRY needs an 'best in class' marketing to the consumer. Why, think about it, who are the IT dept heads? Younger geeks who are trying to make Fruit products work because that is all they know. They care about razzle dazzle, not function. My wife's hospital/clinic, the third largest in Washington State will not even allow access to the corporate email system from a BB device because no one knows how to service them.

It is important to realize that the younger generation wants "cool factor" first. Does not matter about the industry or what works best. Then the rest is an easy sale. BBRY needs to get the marketing right.

I'm sure Apple will sweep in fairly quickly and launch iCare or AirCare that utilizes QNX as they have done with AirPlay with QNX for vehicles.

This ain't no ace, this is wishful thinking for the "next trillion dollar industry".

Hardcore fanboys seem to forget that BlackBerry bought QNX. QNX had it's foot in many of these doors long before BlackBerry purchased them. I'll bet you the smart people running QNX won't let BlackBerry near the building, as Blackberry has proven to fuck up everything touch. If QNX is the saviour, then BlackBerry wouldn't be in the mess they are in today.

QNX is really run as its own company. The real strategy is that QNX builds an underlying framework, which they've done, and BlackBerry builds the security environment on top of it.

And that's not the spirit! Companies buy companies. I'm pretty sure Google was at one time - just a search engine.
So you cheer on your team. Everyone knows that the word Rim or BlackBerry aren't in the letters "QNX".
I'm also pretty sure José Bautista didn't always play for the Jays, but I bet you aren't downplaying the Jays for having him on contract.

It's the only way for QNX to stay relevant. If QNX is fully run and dictated by BlackBerry, then they'd probably lose customers. Less business for QNX means less money for BlackBerry.

Yeah cool, great, whatever.. I'm sorry but as an end consumer I don't care about it's modifications, embedding powers, customization, privatization, super powers or whatever....
UNLESS these changes effect my brand new flagship full touch or Qwerty BB10 phone. Period.
I want to see big changes in 10.3, and then I want a new flagship device with quality display on par with competition, quality top 50 apps already available on 2 big stores, best in class battery life.
Unless QNX helps BB team to achieve these results, it means nothing to me actually.. Sorry..

The consumer market is just a long slog to the bottom since the end cost is the deciding factor in everything. There are no returns or real money to be made there outside of a few products. The real money is in the enterprise and regulated markets where higher price tags aren't seen with quite the same hostility as the consumer space.

Sorry airbatross but all of the flash and neat features are just the gloss on the outside of the package. The real money and gains are in the ugly, unseen back office and server room features.

Seriously? :) No returns and no real money? These are not cheap devices we're talking about, all BB10 phones were quite expensive and made money even though sales volumes were devastating. There IS money there, and unless you don't have a QNX user base who exactly do you think you will sell the stuff mentioned in the text? If you are suggesting BB leave handset business and focus on enterprise (which by the way is going more and more mobile everyday with Apple, Android and WP doing better while BB is relying on its past victories) then I understand but that means me (and a lot of pople) kiss BB goodbye. And believe me, I will not be looking for QNX compatibility or logo when I move to other platforms because they have their own solutions for a lot of areas. If healthcare is their best bet, well, good luck..

Airbatross
I hear ya to some extent. The problem with that thinking is, it is in part what got BB headed down the wrong path to begin with. Except it wasn't you saying it...it was VZW chief begging/threatening BB to come up with an answer to the iPhone that VZW could offer to customers. This at a time when BB and leadership weren't even convinced the "fad" is here to stay. So each iteration became a glaring example of major misstep, handset after handset...pushing BB further and further into "who cares...BB who'? So to your point...for the average consumer looking to upgrade to the "latest" smartphone in order to win BB has to deliver in ways its not prepared to win.
Second...even more important. The core of BB is and always will be prosumer/enterprise. This market could give a shoot about latest/greatest/WOW. They want...and very much NEED/REQUIRE the things you sound to be least interested in...security and robust OS that plays very nicely with back-end equipment. Some of those equipments btw cost hundreds of thousands and some even millions of dollars. No responsible director will let a "toy" onto their network potentially fouling up.
Third....if we talk about money....profits not revenue. The money is in enterprise and servicing enterprise related markets! Thats a fact. The margins are way higher and generate healthier profits with sustainable repeat business with high barrier to entry. Another words....BIG BUCKS...CASH FLOW...COMPETITORS KEPT OUT!
So while I hear ya about the wow...bang...zing of phones. I too want some cool features. I rather a strong OS...a locked tight secure platform and bundle of services and APPROVED devices capable of playing nicely on my network.

I was at a meeting on Monday at which over 100 of the UK's top lawyers and their clerks were present. (The clerks are like their business managers.) As soon as the meeting was over, the BlackBerries came out.
A lot of the younger lawyers have iPhones, but the clerks do all the scheduling, fixing, and planning. They want reliability, efficiency and portability, and much of the information they convey needs high security. That kind of market may be niche, but it isn't going away.
Quality top 50 apps? If these things are modified from stock, it's only to put PGP on the email.

Does this have any relevance on how to release and sell a path breaking beautiful mobile device???

Atleast up to the existing competition

Posted via CB10

Jubei is a great add for BlackBerry! Really nice post!

This is true! Medical industry is huge and it's only evolving from now on. QNX is already evolved in this market and so BlackBerry! If BlackBerry embrace this "trillion dollars" opportunity, there is a huge come back potential!

My awesome Z30 just impressed you again!

The CB team clearly made the right choice in Jubei. Perfect write up to fuel the passion of BlackBerry fans. QNX, to me, has always been the best acquisition made by BlackBerry. Excellent piece Jubei. Well done.

You sir are a star. Showed that scene to my Italian buddies who'd never watched True Romance before and their jaws dropped. They laughed so hard, dropped what they were doing and stared in awe at what was unfolding. Ended up showing it to a few of the family-friend Italians too, but they didn't take it so well... Hah.

And for the record, I'm half Sicilian.

Very well written. Unfortunately one point is off, the FDA has certified medical imaging applications on the iPad. So Apple does have some experience here.

Because they can display a picture? How secure is the information?????? .....yep. not really.

That's where BlackBerry wins.

Posted via CB10

"We don't know that they won't," she said in an e-mail. "The FDA does not regulate practice of medicine, so the physician will have to use their clinical judgment and do what's best to help them treat their patient."

and

Siddiqui acknowledged a potential for abuse but said the benefits far outweigh the risks. "It's really game-changing in my opinion," he said. "It enables us to make decisions at the time of care."

This is big govt at its best. I'm sure the families that have tragic deaths appreciate that when the display couldn't quite render the abnormality that would have been otherwise visible, is considered the acceptable risk.

There are certain situation in life where it is perfectly acceptable to expect better than "good enough", and demand "nearly perfect".

As a Healthcare Consultant ( medical devices ) For Example : recording an ECG and sending the info to be viewed is Mono Medicine/single channel medicine ( ie: dummy medicine) , helpful but not mission critical. But receiving & sending that data to allow communication to your implanted cardiac ICD that's where the Poker game begins !! Ah yes with security as the paramount feature !! Not saying your phone will have 100% control of your ICD device but will be an integrated device in the mission critical medical treatment. Add data analytic's with security being paramount the Poker Game is just getting started !!

I see a lot of potential in this industry, especially just one example if RFID tags could be used (as long as it's secure) on patient wrist bands. A doctor could go room to room scanning each patient and gaining everything they need swiftly without the errors of charts and handwritten information. Even better a tablet at some point down the road with NFC and fully functional bridge to display medical images and carry around instead of a clipboard. This with the ability to communicate seamlessly with the wide array of medical equipment through NFC due to its need to be in very close contact with another device would eliminate any EM interference I would think such as Wi-Fi and bluetooth. I'm no expert so correct me if I'm wrong but this is just a couple of examples that come to mind and probably a whole lot more I can't even think of since I don't work in this field and also don't ever get sick or hurt enough to have experience in a hospital.

Z10 via CB10

Rsydogsboards your on the correct path. Mobile to mobile or mobile to medical device or medical device to medical device communications etc. One thing that happens in medicine is patent orders or patient treatment can change without proper information being communicated accurately or properly . So this is where QNX mission critical comes in ! Setting up proper criteria like who, when, what, where and why changes were made will be efficient and paramount critical . Last thing you want is an episode in a Sci fi movie of a person going around changing drugs orders etc etc...lol

But seriously the cost savings here is dramatic and the medical education will only be enhanced.

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

Unless you are a market leader with a high turnover rate (groceries, now electronics like TV and phones) the consumer market not where you want to be. Margins are too low and the consumer too fickle.
B2B is much better for long, profitable relationships.

The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. Run while you still can

While this article focuses on QNX in healthcare technology, BlackBerry would do well to look at QNX as the kernel for a virtualization ecosystem. Right now there are only two companies there: VMware and Microsoft. Virtual server hosts are best build on a small, tight, real-time, secure kernel. Does that describe something we have heard of? Microsoft is building HyperV on top of the Windows kernel. While the Windows kernel is robust and reliable, it is also a pig and not real-time. VMware has written it's own kernel (ESX) which looks and acts much like unix (as does QNX). However, VMware is going into a future I am finding harder and harder to accept. HyperV is a good enough alternative to VMware but I would much prefer a virtual host built on top of QNX.

Thanks for the article.
I've always felt that QNX is Blackberry's best asset. The idea of Mr. Chen expanding into the medical field seems like a wise decision. Not only for the obvious reasons, but to keep the company relevant for years to come. Locking down certain environment's makes it harder for organizations to just up and walk away from Blackberry in the future.

As a user of BlackBerry z10, I believe Qnx is not a optimised os. For example BlackBerry os 10 uses more than 1 gb of ram. Also cpu usage is very high when running an application. However ios needs only 250 mb of ram and can run in device with low power such as iPhone 4! I think it is better blackberry should work more to optimise Qnx.

However I still love my z 10 and keep it because my device is unique and do not see in other hands.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry 10 and QNX are not the exact same. BlackBerry 10 uses the QNX OS but then layers multiple things on top such as UI, the Hub, Android, mobile calling, BBM, etc. This is why it needs more RAM. Without the Hub, Android, etc, you don't need as much RAM to run QNX and in fact it can run very efficiently.

Actually it stacks Webworks (HTML), Native BB10 (JavaScript, Qt and CSS), Android, and Adobe Air (minus this in next update). The whole UI is what's being held together by QNX being the underlying embedded software. RAM is only needed for the increase in the number of multitasking task cards available on screen. We only get 8 active frames now but with extra RAM (let's say 4gb) we'll be able to have maybe 12 to 16 open at a time. One can only dream of this.

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Ram is cheap! I bought 64GiB for $60.. and the price is still dropping. No need to make QNX run on a smaller old chip, the trick is to make it run on a new octicore chip, using only the low power CPU's for monitoring and the high power ones for when it really needs it.

That's not RAM, mate, you're talking about flash. Yes, a 64GB stick or MicroSD can be had for that price.

A decent 4GB DDR-3 RAM stick is still at around $40+ on my list here.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I'm seeing 8GiB for $55 retail... which is what 20% mark up? Plus BBRY would be buying in bulk... so maybe $30?

even so, working to make BB10 use less memory vs adding more features would be a bad move. Yes their software guys should make an effort not to waste memory but spending time looking for places to optimize is IMO a poor use of their time.

RAM also takes precious PCB space and requires more electrical waste to keep the memory running. If it didn't, everyone would slap +8GB of RAM on their phone designs.

True, and the low-power RAM used on phones is much more expensive than the stuff used in laptops. An 8Go laptop RAM would probably empty most phone batteries in a few hours, while on standby.

QNX and BB10 are completely different.... difference is BB10 runs on top of QNX.... the base is QNX...

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.2141

It is worth pointing out that while Apple and Google have none of this market, that Microsoft is a major player in this space as well...

Yep and I heard they out innovated Apple and Google because like BlackBerry they are also moving into software services.

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Nice article. However, people need to keep QNX in perspective. I like QNX as much as the next guy (it was the reason why I got a PlayBook), but let's not forget that it is a tiny shop, both in staff and in revenue.

AFAIK, QNX had revenues in the order of $100 million last year. That really is the proverbial drop in the bucket. I hope there are more structural benefits.

Very well written. Appreciate the insight and the potential that your research indicates for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10 via my Z10

What a lot of people don't realize is that developing an OS from scratch is a HUGE undertaking. Look at it this way... Apple leveraged BSD and discovered quite by accident they could scale the OS... Google with all their resources decided to go with Linux and shoehorn it into a mobile solution... Microsoft goes the hard way with their own solution that takes decades to optimize and adapt to new applications.

QNX was designed by scratch to be scalable. It is much more agile than any other OS out there to be adapted to different applications. When the "next big thing" comes along, Blackberry will have a huge advantage. And guess what... security is going to be key.

What bothers me about Blackberry is they manage to fudge their positioning (in a typically Canadian way) but I think John Chen is a much better strategic thinker then Mike and Jim ever were. I don't want to take away from their visionary orientation and I admire them both, but when it comes to strategy they were both zeros.

I always thought because of QNX Blackberry would have been an ideal fit for IBM, which knows a thing or two about operating systems.

The suggested visual of large stacks of chips, suggests the bet to "call" is more than what BB has... so calling would be "all in" by default.

I'm not to sure that the average person hearing the QNX is in most medical equipment and most med equipment is riddled with malware would know that it's not QNX that's riddled but the software the manufacturer installed on top of it. People have a tendency to think one device = one piece of software operating it. So jumping to the conclusion QNX is riddled with malware. Especially if it implied by anti BlackBerry tech writers sometime in the future. My prediction. :(

Posted via CB10

Absolutely agree. Especially as we move beyond mobiles to wearable and implants. Think HER. Now what if that were realised with an ordinary OS.. Would you care to be screechingly 'Ear jacked' by something exploiting a vulnerability like Heartbleed? What about a hacked Pacemaker, School Bus, Armed Drone, post-WinXP ATM?

For implanted network devices the ONLY road is High Security. Payment tech and vehicles are similar.

QNX is the only technology that is proven in such domains. And writing for this sort of system is not something easily grafted into Objective C or such.

Posted via CB10

Love the descriptive text. Can imagine BlackBerry as a wizened old cowboy, muddy boots and big moustache, always ready for action while the other players in their sharp suits and neck ties look on dismissively. Thinking they have it in the bag already. The old gunslinger (BlackBerry) remains confident in his silence.

Posted via CB10

Working on an EHR/EMR platform, I know that the Healthcare market is natively suited for BlackBerry where security and privacy and data integration are mandatory. This is where QNX can be leveraged and used.

BlackBerry can also leverage their NOC for securely transporting health information from one physician to the other or one health system to the other. Supposing you move from one town to the other, your old physician can view your medical history without starting from scratch.

Posted via CB10

Something like that but I would not be to harsh on the Sheep/Droidsy , they can be little worker devices that collect data and the BlackBerry QNX will extract what it requires with security being paramount !! :)))

Yesterday I was reading about QNX. I was surprised to see the number of places where it can be used. I just hope that BlackBerry is able to make some serious money out of it. It was a great acquisition and must be used to the fullest.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I'm really not a fan of this writing style at all. I come to Crackberry to read BlackBerry news and well-written opinion posts, not short stories. Way too much fluff in here - just get to the point.

Posted via CB10

I sort of like your blog style. Nice blend of facts, with a bit of flair and excitement. It is a nice change of pace.

You are the only one...the only one with so short of an attention span that you missed he made the point very early in the "well-written opinion post". Further, a short story is a work of fiction and again perhaps your short attention span missed the subject is not fictional. His introduction was nicely done in a compelling story style, setting an accurate analogy for what is actually (non-fiction) happening to BB currently. But the truth of the matter is we're all entitled to our opinions...even if our opinions are inaccurate and a little dumb.

I would also like to congratulate Jubei on a succession of insightful and engaging articles, a pleasure to read.

I think the acquisition of QNX was the single most important and forward thinking decision Rim / BlackBerry has made to date.

QNX is the future of BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Great article, Jubei. Thank you.
BlackBerry - Sometimes it isn't just the fancy paint job or luxurious interior, but what's raging under the hood!

History will repeat itself. BlackBerry will rise again like a phoenix.

QNX, BES 12, in car entertainment, health care. Etc

What BlackBerry can do for you...©

Posted via CB10

I am one to say that this was one helluva read! Sometimes the read itself IS getting to the point depending on where you read it and who's writing it. This is a BlackBerry enthusiast blog and forum site. And the point is-wait for it-moves have been made to help ensure Blackberry's longevity. To write up an article using history, analogies and, the most important part in a source like this, passion! This is Crackberry! Want to read something that gets straight to the point? Read the New York Times. Blogs aren't suppose to just be about facts. Its suppose to be about opinions, ideas, enthusiasm as well as facts. Its why the writing crew is so diverse! You have writers here who do analyze numbers and facts. Writers who post opinions. Writers who will even write the things we wish we can write! I wish I could do this! My problem is, I tend to ramble (like I'm probably doing now!). But to come out with a piece like the one I just read is awesome! It sparked me as well as informed me to a view of a recent event. Crackberry isn't just about BlackBerry news. Its about what we all like. BlackBerry. That's the point. Kevin, you made a great choice here! Maybe down the road I can finally get my thoughts together and be the next Crackberry blogger.... God knows I love typing on my Q10!

Post by 9of13's Q

Finally an article by Crackberry that is catching up to what really is going on. Do you think Mr. Whatsa put up 1.25 billion for nothing? No, he knows what BlackBerry is sitting on. Great software and a very bright future.

Posted via CB10

;-)

It's Mr. Watsa, and he's he's got nuthin' to do with that other messaging platform! :-)))))

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Every company that wants to get into healthcare IT promotes an information-sharing utopia of doctors and hospitals having all of the information they need at their fingertips. They have been promising it for decades. Good luck, Blackberry. You don't even have a tablet. How do you get into mobile healthcare IT without a tablet? I love how this strategy seemed to show up out of the blue. Where's the demonstration project at a well-known hospital system? Why does it take a specially-built device? Is it antibacterial and blood-splatter resistant or something? What do smartphones have to do with looking at CTs and MRIs? Who would do that?

If you wish to read more mobile healthcare hype you can see how the HP TouchPad was going to be used to control MRI machines: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Health-Care-IT/HP-TouchPad-Enables-Doctors-to-C...

Every company that wants to get into healthcare IT promotes an information-sharing utopia of doctors and hospitals having all of the information they need at their fingertips. They have been promising it for decades. Good luck, Blackberry. You don't even have a tablet. How do you get into mobile healthcare IT without a tablet? I love how this strategy seemed to show up out of the blue. Where's the demonstration project at a well-known hospital system? Why does it take a specially-built device? Is it antibacterial and blood-splatter resistant or something? What do smartphones have to do with looking at CTs and MRIs? Who would do that?

Ct and mri wouldn't be viewed on a phone but the ability to track and monitor patient information such as medication changes, discharge planning, and automated dictation that automatically syncs with a patient's record securely is of great benefit. As for tablets while I agree in part today's smart phone's and pallets do a good enough job that you may not need a 10inch tablet.

Posted via CB10

Frankly, why would you use a tablet to control an MRI machine? Obviously, these people have not thought one whit about how a MRI machine operates. Sort of laughable actually.

As to viewing images, I can think of several applications that this would be suitable for. Angiograms for stroke patients is an excellent example. I can easily see how this could be incorporated into rounds or when docs rotate on and off service. Actually, it would be very useful. The key is that the device needs to portable, secure and easily stored in a pocket. Tablets don't do it and would be a waste.

Wow. Great response here. You've just opened my mind a bit more to understand the possibilities down the road for BlackBerry. I'm actually becoming more convinced about investing in their stocks after reading posts like that.

Man United 4life!!!!

Our local hospital uses iPads for medical records. By the time they are in their protective cases (with built in docking stations) they are slightly larger than a typical 12 inch laptop. They are portable, secure, but designed NOT to be pocketable and easily removed by mistake.

Fantastic write up!!
And am I the only one who had Kenny Rogers playing jn the back of my mind as I read this "know when to hold em, know when fold em" lol!

On topic as someone who is in the medical field this is a brilliant thought of them getting into health care. I think apple and Google while making health tracking apps and products are more focused on the consumer market which isn't bad. But for the medical field where we deal with MAR's, flow sheets, patient teaching, histories etc BlackBerry is really in a position to say hey we've been securing corporate data for a long time and we can do it with your's as well.

What excites me the most is the thought of a medical related/focused device. That is really interesting for sure.

Posted via CB10

I have seriously been posting this on almost every QNX related article that I could find. I am a healthcare professional myself and I find the current technology very lacking. I hope BlackBerry can put their experience to good use, because there is a lot of room for improvements in this field!

Love the poker scenario in the beginning, it represents the situation perfectly. As for QNX being the winning hand, couldn't agree more; me and my brother always talk about how QNX technology is allowing BlackBerry to explore different options. Great post.

Posted via my love powered Q10

This dude is on Fire with his first 3 or 4 articles in my top 3 after Kevin and the home Bla1ze

Great article absolutely agree with you and I love the card analogy

Posted via CB10

Any real poker player knows that you shouldn't sit down at a $5/10 no limit game with $50 in chips. If this is a cash game then Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. have $500-$2000 in chips on this table.

By the way, don't get too excited about that ace if you know what you're doing.

I don't know what kind of back-end and embedded systems we are talking about, but I can tell you that the physicians around here are all over iPhone. I see them using iPhone's for many things, including apps for sending prescriptions directly to the patients pharmacy. I didn't get a good look at what apps they have, but it has been apparent to me for quite some time now that Apple is making inroads into medical fields. Maybe BB has a plan to secure embedded systems and either leverage that advantage, or ignore the glory and visibility of front ends and just make their money on the embedded side? What concerns me is BB's ability to move swiftly in ANY of these markets of opportunity (automotive, medical, emerging markets...???). I think the task is made harder by a tarnished image, smaller war chest (as compared to their competition), and the under estimation of the power of having your brand name in the hands of your audience. I think the consumer segment is much more important then BB thinks, when it comes to penetrating the more specialized areas where they think money is to be made. I'm afraid that having dominance in the consumer market, or at LEAST a strong presence, has proven to be a difficult advantage to overcome no matter what specialized segment you want to go after. I'm pulling for BB, though. Love my Z30. They are going to have to make money somewhere, and I hope that if/when they do, that consumer devices still are a part of the picture.

Good article Jubei. I look forward to reading many more insightful articles from you. Thanks for hiring Jubei Kevin.

Will eventually be posted via CB10 on my Z70

@ Kevin, I like this guy. good beginning and a good read. Looking to read more...

@ Other authors, No ill meant, I like reading all... especially Chris..

Jubei,

First of all, welcome to CB. I've read the articles you've produced so far, and you seem to be very insightful, and articulate.

HOWEVER!!

Although, I admire your enthusiasm for everything BlackBerry, I believe your article in this matter appears very one sided. You have omitted many important elements in regards to how BlackBerry has managed their assets.

YES, you are absolutely correct that QNX is a valuable asset. YES, it will be their key in being a leader in health care mobile industry.

But what you didn't address, and what I feel the title should have reflected was, the notion that perhaps BlackBerry better not mismanage this asset like other assets they Have AND had.

For example, TAT is(was) and incredible asset of UI tools that BlackBerry 10 has maybe only seen a drop of. Now the original developers have bailed to start a new company. We are now up to 10.2.1 and I have yet to see TAT used to its full potential.

Another example was New Bay. A Cloud service that they purchased at $100 million only to sell it later at $50 million. Why did that happen? I remember reading posts on CB of members speculating on all of it's potential.

Scoreloop? What became of that acquisition? I have not read any info on that. Is this another case of mismanagement?

Now we have QNX, the Crown Jewel of BlackBerry's arsenal in this war of Mobile 'Who's on top?' So far, it looks promising. But given BlackBerry's track record of asset management, I'm going to keep biting my nails.

Either way, a well written, very articulate article that shows a higher level of education that clearly shows you possess. Enjoy your participation in the CB team.

Kevin, You made a good choice! Your HR skills are stellar.

Cheers!!

Posted via CB10

We need to hear the good stuff once in awhile. Can't live in the past.. look towards the future. Think, feel, speak positive. People just want to shot BB down.. and never give praise.

Long Live BB!! BB 4 Life!!

It all comes across more like a cheerleader and less like thoughtful, realistic analysis. I guess you just summed it up, though. "In helping (to) inspire fans, enthusiasts and perhaps even those who work at BlackBerry." Apparently CB wanted a voice to try and stop the "malaise".

Agreed. I enjoy your addition to Crackberry a great deall I don't understand those who always look for the negative or try and drag down those around them. There is nothing unrealistic about your analysis. And so what if you may be helping to stop the malaise. There is enough biased misinformation out there in the publics' eye and mind to last a lifetime. Most based on perceptions and emotions and not on facts. So, you add some positive emotions and you are a "cheerleader." Well then good for you.

Don't worry about him, we know to his MO. He views BB trash talking as realism while the slightest criticism of the opposition is called fanboyism. Got it.

Camera531 is a negative person by nature going by his writing style on here over the past year or more.

Some people see the cup half empty and are down about it as they worry that it will soon be empty. Others are grateful to still see the cup half full and look forward to getting a refill at some point in the future.

That being said we are all a work in progress and need help along the way.

Nice story telling style Jubei, well done.
Keep up the good work.

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

I honestly get what you're saying and would probably think the same way (about me) in your shoes. It's not that I'm negative by nature or like bashing BlackBerry, I just hold them to a high standard and expect them to perform at a specific level. I know they're capable of greatness and it frustrates me when they deliver less. If you look at my comments in the past, you'll see that I won't excuse extremely late product launches, half baked software or overall bad execution. We should all demand more from a company of this caliber or we're just enabling bad behavior, so to speak.

same level as the competition? nope. not enough cash to propel themselves on par with apple, google, windows, etc.. if you want them to deliver something great on your taste and you've considered their cash stance, maybe you can lend them some 200B just to have them sit in a more solid ground than wanting them to dance on top of a tiny slippery stone. xD

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It has nothing to do with monster budgets. The Pebble smart watch is great and they're a startup. The 9900 was great, but ridiculously late. The Q10 is great, but was very late to release (especially in the US) and the software wasn't fully baked. They are more than capable of greatness without an "Apple" budget. And comments like the one you recently made is going to get your dumb@ss banned.

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