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BlackBerry unveils Internet of Things platform at CES

BlackBerry jumped into the Internet of Things today, announcing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the Canadian company is making a hard push into having its technology installed on the growing numbers of everyday items connected to the internet.

Canadian company hopes to leverage reputation for security in growing market for everyday web-connected device

German carmaker Audi unveiled a smartwatch at CES that is connected to your car, one of a slew of devices that will be coming out in the so-called 'Internet of Things' that BlackBerry is trying to be a player in. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

BlackBerry jumped into the Internet of Things today, announcing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the company is making a hard push into having its technology installed on the growing numbers of everyday items connected to the internet.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone company said at the world's largest technology conference Wednesday it would focus initially on the automotive and asset-tracking industries to install BlackBerry technology on their devices 

The Internet of Things is a buzzword that refers to the growing number of everyday objects such as fridges, cars, televisions and thermostats that used to simply be standalone electronics that didn't communicate with the outside world, but are increasingly coming ready-to-connect with the internet and each other seamlessly.

The company is banking that its iron-clad reputation for security and reliability will be a major selling point with the makers of those devices. As such, BlackBerry says it will be rolling out a version of its QNX software for use in those applications, to make them better at collecting, transmitting and most importantly using data on how they're used.

"The platform’s asset tracking and connected car applications targeting those markets are just the first step in BlackBerry’s broad and expanding IoT strategy," BlackBerry said in a release. "The BlackBerry IoT platform will also be extended into the smart energy sector and the health-care field."

At least in the early stages, BlackBerry is making the technology available for free to try for six months to certain companies in those two fields, as long as they have at least 10 employees.

The company has launched a website explaining its offerings, and what it plans to do in the space moving forward.

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