Research in Motion said Friday (04/09/2010) that it had signed a deal with Harman International to acquire its QNX Software Systems unit to help tie its BlackBerry smartphones to car navigation systems.
Terms of the deal were not announced. It is expected to close within 30 to 45 days if it passes regulatory approvals.
QNX designs a real-time embedded OS, that it has tied to ARM, MIPS, PowerPC and other processors and embedded designs.
"The car is going to become the first-class citizen of the cloud, where inside the car you're going to have access to all the connected media, all the social services that are out there, and it will truly revolutionize the driving experience, the experience of the automotive makers making those cars, the ecosystem of people that are going to make applications for those cars," said Dan Dodge, the chief executive of QNX, in a recent video made with Alcatel-Lucent to retrofit a Toyota car with a cloud-connected entertainment system networked via the wireless LTE standard. "It's probably one of the most exciting times in automotive history."
I wouldn't have named QNX as the software to buy if you're looking to get into car navigation systems, but they're certainly a good choice. I've used QNX here and there, but it's been quite a few years back. The software was always really neat looking (Photon is a beautiful GUI), was blazing fast, tiny footprint, and as stable as anything I've ever encountered.
For those unfamiliar, QNX is a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) that's a perfect example of a microkernel architecture.