Cool CTV video showing some of the ways QNX can be used other than PlayBook.
You really get the feeling a new age is dawning with RIM. With the acquisitions of QNX, TAT and Torch Mobile, there’s a lot of potential on the horizon. Also, consumers are demanding a lot more than just smartphones and RIM’s first foray into the tablet market shows its willingness to enter relatively new markets. Companies like Apple and Google are well diversified in the products they offer, and RIM still seems like a bit of a one trick pony. But if RIM were to enter more markets with the BlackBerry brand, here are 5 we would love to see:
1. Laptop and Desktop
Just as corporations trust their infrastructure with RIM’s smartphones, it would be cool to see BlackBerry branded laptops and computers. The PC is still very much aligned with everything RIM does, and Mac sort of gets left behind, but a BlackBerry computer would be as sync’d as you can get. There are some 3rd party apps and services that help you mimic BBM and apps on your PC, but there are some features that RIM could play around with that take those concepts and build on them further. Being able to stream apps between both laptop/desktop and smartphone would be interesting. We would also like to see some popular BlackBerry apps such as BlackBerry Protect, being used to protect your laptop as well as your smartphone.
2. Connected Home Systems
There are some really cool companies that are connecting the home and smartphone such as Schlage, and it’s definitely the way of the future. NFC will play a big role in the connected home as well, unlocking your door when you approach it, and changing your home settings based on your smartphone profiles. RIM could get into the connected home in a strong way, we would probably see a seamless smartphone, home and desktop experience.
3. Car Systems
While we’ve got our laptop, desktop and home connected to a BlackBerry, the next logical step is to connect the car as well. RIM’s initial foray into automotive was really weak, and the Bluetooth accessory isn’t future proof. What we’re seeing from QNX in the automotive space is very interesting and it shows just what’s possible when you link your car to the internet and connected devices. The Viper SmartStart just scratches the surface of what’s possible when you connect the smartphone to a car and it would be cool to see the smartphone, laptop, home and tablet all connected with BlackBerry to the car.
4. National Defense
When it came out that the United States Army is piloting a suite of military apps based on Android, the first thought I had was that it should have been piloted with BlackBerry. The military already uses thousands of BlackBerrys and coupled with the security, it would be a much better device to have in the field. They should be piloting devices that are branded BlackBerry and come with hyper-secure messaging as well as top of the line military-specific apps.
5. Cloud Services
We’re seeing more and more services from RIM that are in the cloud and with more devices and instances of BlackBerry, these cloud services are going to get even better. If you had a BlackBerry smartphone, laptop, desktop, car system and home control, all of this could be sync’d throughout your devices and seamlessly controlled. The possibilities are infinite for what RIM and third party developers could do with more instances of BlackBerry in your daily life; not just on a smartphone.
The next few years are going to be very telling for RIM. As analysts continue to beat down RIM’s stock and while some tech bloggers trash talk the company, there’s still great opportunities looming. It would be great to see RIM diversifying their product streams outside of boring accessories and into some real high tech. Lets just hope we see more cool stuff from RIM and less of the same old.