Blackberry launches internet of things program, Project Ion

22 May 2014

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry

Blackberry is attempting to make its mark in the growing importance of the internet of things with the launch of its cloud back end software, Project Ion.

Making the announcement at the O’Reilly Solid conference in San Francisco, California, the company’s CEO John Chen is now asking developers to work with BlackBerry in creating applications based off the project’s software.

The core software being used by Blackberry is QNX, which it acquired in 2010 and went on to be the basis for much of the operating systems in its range of phones, including its less than successful Blackberry10 smartphone.

While Google is perhaps the biggest proponent of the internet of things business model, Blackberry hopes Project Ion will offer the resources necessary to access massive amounts of data from multiple disparate sources and distil it into meaningful, actionable information through open-source and third party-analytic tools.

Handling all of this data from multiple connected devices will be the platform known as Cassandra, which is renowned for its ability to handle data writes as opposed to other similar platforms that are better suited to simply reading the data.

In a statement, Chen addressed the importance of embracing the internet of things.

“Billions of connections, generating trillions of transactions and exabytes of data daily, will require platforms that can operate securely on a global scale,” said Chen.

“No other company is in a better position than BlackBerry to provide the technological building blocks, applications and services needed to enhance productivity, improve real-time decision making and deliver on the vision of the internet of things.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic