updated 08:30 pm EST, Sat January 14, 2012
We check out QNX in a Porsche at CES 2012
A side section of RIM's booth at CES 2012 was dedicated to showing off the results of QNX's work in car dash technology since it was bought by RIM. Custom-modifying a Porsche 911's dash and center stack, QNX showed Electronista an interface very heavily inspired by the QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook but tailored just to the environment of a car. It not only controlled phone calls (including VoIP), music playback, and navigation, but also Internet access and even an app platform.
The PlayBook links extended to a settings area that was near-identical to that of the tablet. By necessity, QNX's interface was more limited, albeit simpler and providing more information at the top level. Drivers could get the time, temperature, and currently playing track without having to dive into individual menus.
A change to the dash replaced the traditional instrument cluster with an all-screen virtual display, although this may have been more to suit the customizations in the center stack than for new features by itself.
QNX wouldn't say how soon this interface could reach real cars. As it's dependent on automakers' own schedules, though, QNX wouldn't have much control over when and how its platform reaches new vehicles.