BlackBerry unveiled Wednesday during the O'Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco what it said is the cornerstone of its vision for the Internet of Things, codenamed Project Ion.
In general terms, the mobile phone maker said Project Ion will offer the resources necessary to access massive amounts of data from multiple sources and analytic tools, and then turn that data into actionable insights — i.e., the same goal of every other company out to capitalize on the IoT.
But to BlackBerry's credit, it did give some more specifics. The company said it will work to develop a public application platform aimed at spurring the next generation of technology that will be powered by QNX and BlackBerry's enterprise mobility management solution.
The company will also work to build an IoT ecosystem of partners. BlackBerry will join with the Industrial Internet Consortium, an open membership, not-for-profit group that seeks to bring together the historically separated worlds of operational technology and information technology. The IIC formed in March in an effort led by AT&T, Cisco, IBM, GE and Intel.
BlackBerry chief John Chen said in a statement:
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.
While many will likely see this as BlackBerry's last ditch effort for relevance, it seems as though the company has the intention to actually produce something concrete out of Ion. BlackBerry indicated that select partners and developers will soon have early access to the product component of Project Ion, and that it expects to release its secure IoT platform in February of 2015.