BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today unveiled BlackBerry Spark, the only Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform designed and built for ultra-secure hyperconnectivity from the kernel to the edge.
Defined as the interconnectedness of people, organizations, and machines, hyperconnectivity is set to revolutionize the way people work and live. BlackBerry’s new platform enables:
- OEMs to make complex ‘things’, like autonomous vehicles and industrial equipment which must have the highest levels of security and safety-certification, as well as consumer-friendly interfaces to complex processes and artificial intelligence (AI), such as voice-activated speakers with privacy protection designed in at the start.
- Enterprises to leverage AI and manage smart ‘things’ regardless of operating system (i.e., Android, iOS, Linux, QNX and Windows) via a single pane of glass, as well as snap-in existing platform services such as Android Things, AWS, Azure, and Watson.
- People to use and trust any hyperconnected ‘thing’ and the new experiences they enable by making military-grade security easy and intuitive to use. And, as the workforce continues to evolve, BlackBerry Spark will provide end users with the flexibility to move seamlessly and securely between their personal and work profiles.
BlackBerry Spark stands out in a fast-emerging market as the only platform designed and built for ultra-security and industry-specific safety-certifications, such as ISO 26262 in automobiles. As an open and extensible platform, BlackBerry Spark ships ready to “snap-in” IoT and other solutions from partners that include AWS, Baidu, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
Sparking New Ideas
BlackBerry Spark customers will be able to create entirely new user experiences that take advantage of hyperconnectivity. Below are some early examples of how BlackBerry customers can put EoT to work in their organizations.
- In a hospital, a patient’s slowing heartbeat can trigger an alert to the right medical team and simultaneously prepare the patient’s room for emergency care. This includes automatically raising the bed to the right level, starting up a ventilator or pump to deliver prescribed treatments, and bringing elevators to the floors where key personnel are located.
- Employees can soon put virtual assistants such as Alexa to work for the first time by giving them ultra-secure access to information and workflows they can’t see today such as employee files, calendars, and emails.
- In transportation, BlackBerry Spark allows connected vehicles to communicate in real-time with other vehicles and critical infrastructure because the data transferred inside and outside the vehicle is encrypted and certified by BlackBerry Spark as genuine. For example, a salt truck could be deployed automatically to address a patch of black ice after receiving a notification from a connected vehicle.
“BlackBerry smartphones sparked a mobile-first revolution that changed the way most of the world lives and works,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “By combining hyperconnectivity with ultra-security and privacy, BlackBerry Spark is the indispensable component of a paradigm shift to ‘things-first’ which holds even greater potential to reshape society. The ultimate outcome of this inevitable convergence of ubiquitous mobility and computing power will likely turn on the cybersecurity decisions we make collectively over the next few years.”
“CCS Insight has long predicted the convergence of mobility, end user computing and the internet of objects inside businesses as computing technologies become increasingly ubiquitous and integrated across our work and personal lives,” said Nicholas McQuire, vice president of Enterprise Research, CCS Insight. “Organizations are struggling with the sheer complexity of the IT environment, including the ability to deploy new employee experiences with modern security that protects company data across technologies such as AI, IoT, and mobility. BlackBerry Spark is a bold but necessary step in helping organizations bridge these worlds, creating new connected experiences whilst simplifying and improving security from the chip to the edge.”
“The rapidly expanding IoT universe contains within it a nasty surprise, every connected device is a potential access point for an attacker wanting to penetrate the network to do damage or steal personal data,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst, Enderle Group. “BlackBerry is uniquely suited to deal with this problem given their extreme focus on securing connected devices. Their Spark platform, designed to secure and manage IoT infrastructure, stands out because of this focus and their demonstrated ability to manage connected devices at enterprise and government scale.” – CT Bureau