Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Telematics Update 2011

Telematics Update Detroit is usually quite a good show for us since it gives us a chance to meet with long time customers, friends throughout the industry, and continue to build new relationships. We probably had the biggest booth at the show this year.  Certainly the most visible--you could see our banner from the whole of the hall! Of course we had the reskinned Corvette, a real crowd pleaser. See our website for a description of the HMI reskinning project we did with Lixar.  Our VP Derek Kuhn gave a great keynote about the future of auto platforms--a TU keynote being a first for us this year.  (Here's your honesty in reporting: this is not exactly an unbiased viewpoint, since I significantly contributed to this wonderful trailblazing keynote's content :-)

What would be my one word summary for the show?  Validation.

  • QNX has arrived.  We're finally to the point where people realize who QNX is and that we play in telematics.  Maybe that shouldn't be a surprise, but it's so nice to have people come up to you who have sought you out because they know you're a trusted name in the industry.  I'm still used to the bad old days of having to spend the first 10 minutes explaining who we are and justifying my company's existence.
  • Videos actually work.  Several people at the show whom I've never met say "Oh, I've seen you in that video", or "I recognize you from somewhere, but I can't remember... Wait, it's your video!"  Okay, I'm not going all hollywood or anything, but it's good to know that the time and effort that me, our Marcoms, and our creative people put into producing these various pieces actually get watched! Of course YouTube views don't lie, but it's not about just who has the biggest number.  What's important is the context, and these weren't fluff conversations. (NOW WHERE'S THAT MAKEUP TRAILER?!)
  • GenIVI is irrelevant.  Yes, of course, everyone joined it as an insurance policy.  But fewer and fewer people are giving it any credit, especially since it's been two years since launch and very little to show for it, whereas we've come a long way in two years.  Having several customers give us unprompted confirmation really helps put the nail in the coffin AFAIAC.
  • HTML5 is the next pink.   Ask ten automakers what HMI technology they're using today, and you'll get twelve answers.  Ask them what they're going to use tomorrow, and you'll get one (maybe 1.5).  It isn't yet field proven,  it isn't a solidified spec, and there remain plenty of big picture issues to solve, and so I remain cautiously optimistic.  But the writing is on the wall.  And we'll be there with the big pink marker.
  • QNX CAR is making waves. I won't say much here, other than the fact that we had a lot of curious Blue Oval people getting a demo of our car.  'Nuff said.
One more plug alert: the bulk of this blog was written with my PlayBook over BlackBerry Bridge. (BTW,  despite what appears to be a common misconception, you can in fact get Internet tethering even if you don't have a BlackBerry.)


  1. Andy

    You 1st mention that "QNX has arrived" and compare QNX now to the "bad old days". Therefore implying that it has taken QNX a long time to build up the brand name it has today.

    Then you criticize GENIVI as as it has not shown much since launching 2 years ago. Maybe a GENIVI blog in a couple of years will be commenting on "the bad old days".

    I also wonder if BMW, JLR and PSA see it as irrelevant?


  2. Steve,

    Your comparison is invalid. In the "bad old days" regarding QNX, it was a fight of a superior technology against historically grown, outdated concepts.

    GENIVI, on the other hand, is a huge waste of time and resources - "we have to save money... at all cost!".

    QNX is the superior technology - and the cheaper one. Today, many things that QNX already has are re-done by suppliers to justify their jobs. This time will soon be over.

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