updated 07:45 pm EDT, Thu October 28, 2010
Tech built by RIM acquisition QNX
QNX, a company recently acquired by RIM, has previewed a RealVNC system that connects smartphones, such as BlackBerries, to touchscreen interfaces found in many vehicles. The software is said to be one of the first to integrate Nokia's Terminal Mode technology, which replicates the smartphone interface on the dashboard. Drivers can then control their smartphones using the touchscreen or steering wheel controls.
Unlike similar technology that is tied to a particular smartphone OS or specific device, the RealVNC system uses standard VNC protocol that is designed to work with BlackBerry, Android or other platforms. Users should be able to maintain similar functionality, even if they switch between devices or cellular carriers. The technology was recently introduced for iOS 4's "iPod Out" display option available with the latest iPhone and iPod touch.
Terminal Mode is designed to filter out unsafe apps to avoid distracting the driver with unnecessary content. The display is also simplified to eliminate non-essential controls, while fonts are enlarged for easier viewing on the vehicle display.
Although a demonstration video highlighted cross-platform support for various mobile operating systems, the QNX preview focused on BlackBerry functionality. A list of potential vehicles, launch time-frame and pricing information remains unclear. [via CrackBerry]