Wednesday, July 21, 2010

QNX, BMW and Apple iPod Out

QNX has had a long tradition of being independent.  When we were acquired by Harman International, a big automotive tier one (Harman Becker) suddenly became our sister company.  Many of our automotive customers were concerned if we would still support them, since Harman Becker was one of their competitors.  Non-auto customers were worried that we would just drop their market altogether.  We proved our commitment to our customers with more than just words, and some of the most vehemently concerned customers eventually admitted that we were treating them even better after the acquisition than before.  That is, more responsive, more proactive, more resources, and quicker technology rollouts.

After RIM acquired QNX, I expected another round of the same customer concerns about QNX and our continued direction.  It really hasn't materialized, I guess because this time around everyone clearly sees that there is a very natural fit to RIM and QNX.  About the only thing we hear these days is the occasional question from customers about whether or not we will still support the technologies they care about.  An example is: "since Apple and RIM are competitors, are you going to continue supporting Apple devices?"

The answer is, of course "yes," but the proof in the pudding, as they say.  How about this:

Apple's iPod Out feature is a brand-spanking new feature that Apple just released in OS4 that allows an iPhone or iPod Touch to pump an Apple-customized video HMI to an automotive head-unit. It's not available in any production models today, and BMW is the very first car company to announce support for it. I'll give you just one guess which operating system is being used for this project.  (And despite BMW's highly public Linux strategy, please don't waste your guess on GenIVI :-)

Although the feature is hot off the presses, here's a shaky-cam snapshot of our very own Mike Shane running the QNX Neutrino RTOS with a preliminary version of the iPod out feature integrated into our iPod driver.

1 comment: