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As blogger Eric Mack points out in his post today, taking pot shots at our friends to the north has practically become a national pastime, rivaling baseball -- or hockey, depending on which side of the border you’re on.
But Mack is not ready to count RIM out. In his blog titled “RIM's secret weapon is actually pretty cool,” Mack points out that the maker of BlackBerry smartphones and related software may still have a trick or two up its Canadian sleeve.
RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, though late, may still pack a wallop, Mack suggests, by virtue of its built-in abilities to talk securely to embedded systems in cars, and beyond. The capabilities are related to RIM’s acquisition of the embedded OS called QNX, which will form the basis of the BB 10 system.
In an editorial published Tuesday in Canada's Globe and Mail, RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins insisted that even though it won’t ship until 2013 now, the new OS is worth waiting for. Unlike existing mobile OS platforms, BB 10 “will connect users not just to each other, but to the embedded systems that run constantly in the background of everyday life -- from parking meters and car computers to credit card machines and ticket counters,” Heins said. It’s a thinly veiled reference to the real-time QNX OS platform, Mack says, which “can be found all over, but especially in places where security and precision is paramount, including in medical devices, public transit, air traffic control, nuclear power plants and aboard the International Space Station.”
In addition to running in some 20 million cars today, QNX has the added appeal of already supporting HTML5 and the ability to interface with iOS and Android devices. And there’s one more potential ace in the hole: It offers built-in support for near-field communications (NFC), an up-and-comer technology that has been hailed as the prime ingredient for finally turning our mobile phones into secure wireless “wallets.”
According to Mack, if RIM plays its remaining cards correctly, “and QNX phones truly do interface with the numerous other systems we encounter on a daily basis in a seamless and intuitive way, it could be a major selling point.
“Finally creating the killer digital wallet application -- one that would work easily for things like paying tolls and parking meters -- could also inject RIM with a significant amount of mojo.”
Can BB 10 provide enough mobile mojo to put BlackBerry back in the black? Share your thoughts.

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