The new Blackberry Classic smartphone is displayed during the launch event in New York, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
IN PHOTO: The new Blackberry Classic smartphone is displayed during the launch event in New York, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company BlackBerry Limited, raring to regain lost glory, has launched its own Internet of Things (IoT) platform as it works to install and connect to the internet a growing number of essential items.

BlackBerry said it will be rolling out a version of its QNX software, initially targeting businesses in transport-related industries, particularly shipping containers and vehicles to help keep tabs on the whereabouts of their cargoes. The QNX operating system, BlackBerry said in a statement, is actually already embedded in 50 million vehicles from over 40 automakers, including Ford Motors.

Enabled by the platform, companies would be able to track vehicles running BlackBerry's software. They would be able to measure how drivers use air conditioning, media content and even seat and steering wheel positions. Supply chains could be greatly aided by the technology as it will help track shipping containers.

BlackBerry said it will provide companies the hardware and software support, including a cellular radio, Wi-Fi connectivity, a microprocessor and sensors, for cloud-based communications boxes built into their shipping containers. These will monitor what's in the container, its location and other details to help fleet managers stay on top of their products and anticipate potential problems.

"There's lots of useful information you can collect to get more efficient," Sandeep Chennakeshu, president of the BlackBerry's Technology Solutions unit, told The Record. "(The communication box is) very similar to a cell phone, except it doesn't have a display or a keypad. That's right up our alley."

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. However, the Canadian company has yet to release a definitive date. John Chen, CEO, in an interview on CNBC, the release date may "probably take a little while but it's not going to be a long while."

Chen added the platform will also be extended into the smart energy sector and the health-care field. In fact, trials are already being done at hospitals, connecting medical devices, he said.

Portal, citing analyst firm Gartner, said that by 2020, the number of networked devices will jump to 25 billion from just a mere 5 billion in 2015. It said forecasts by IDC revealed the IoT market will reach $3.04 trillion five years from now. The company launched a website to explain its latest offerings.