Blackberry isn’t a name that gets mentioned much any more in the realm of smartphones. Go back just a few years though and it was by far the most dominant force in work related handsets and even many end users sported one. However, as more and more competitors entered the field Blackberry struggled to stay competitive and its efforts in recent years haven’t returned it to form. However, now it looks like the company could be looking to wearables for its future, with plans to get the BBM function on to a wearable device in the near future.
Speaking at a roundtable at the CTIA Super Mobility Week, Blackberry’s head of enterprise, John Sims said: “I would love BBM to be running on a wearable. We’re not releasing anything at the moment, but it’s definitely an area of research for us.”
This isn’t just some abstract concept however. Blackberry has been working with prototypes, the current status of which is that it’s gone through internal experimentation and is able to pair with your phone. It can also receive voice commands according to Sims.
The fact that Blackberry is currently going through a bit of a transition speaks volumes for what it might have planned for wearables. The roundtable also introduced a new “head of technology assets,” Sandeep Chennakeshu, who is expected to spearhead a move from hardware to a more software as a service role. This could suggest that any BBM equipped wearable, could be made by a third party manufacturer, rather than Blackberry itself developing it.
Other moves being made by Blackberry at the moment, according to PCMag, include technologies that prevent antennas becoming “detuned,” which helps reduce battery usage and increase signal strength. It’s also got a new elliptic key cryptography standard in the works, that’s currently more efficient than the RSA cryptosystem.
It’s also working on QNX, an industry standard operating system for connected vehicles. While this might seem like an odd move, Ford recently announced that it was moving away from Microsoft’s antiquated Sync systems for Blackberry’s new ONX.
As usual though, Blackberry does also have new phones in the works. Sales figures are much more conservative than they have been for previous launches, but chances are that means they’ll be achievable. While in the past Blackberry has attempted to compete head on with the likes of Android and iOS, this time around it’s hoping to offer a traditional replacement for its own products, as well as offering something new in the form of a square form factor handset, known as the Passport.