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Sunday, April 11, 2010

RIM Acquisition May Let BlackBerry Control Car Functions

Research In Motion is acquiring QNX Software Systems, whose open Neutrino operating system is used across many industry verticals, including autos. RIM may plan to let its BlackBerry smartphones control automotive and other functions. The QNX technology has been licensed for more than 17 million in-vehicle systems worldwide.

Research In Motion has put its buying power Relevant Products/Services in motion with the acquisition of QNX Software Systems. The Waterloo, Canada-based phone maker reached an agreement with QNX's parent company, Harman International, to acquire the company, RIM announced Friday.

By acquiring the Ottawa, Canada-based QNX, RIM will gain access to its open operating system Relevant Products/Services, Neutrino. The open platform is used across many industry verticals, including telecommunications, medical, defense and automotive.

While QNX's software is used in life-critical systems such as air traffic control, surgical equipment, and nuclear power plants, it has been used most recently in casino gaming terminals and in-car infotainment systems.

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The phone maker may be planning to integrate its BlackBerry smartphone functions with in-car audio and infotainment systems in the short term, but for the long term it looks as though RIM may be interested in providing dashboard and communications systems using BlackBerry functions.

"RIM is interested in expanding opportunities for QNX in the automotive sector and other markets," said Paul Leroux, a spokesperson for QNX. "No question, this is a positive development for QNX."

By Patricia Resende

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