At the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas, BlackBerry unveiled they will provide hardware and software support for cloud-based communications boxes built into shipping containers.
The communications box will include a cellular radio, Wi-Fi connectivity, a microprocessor and sensors that 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,” said Sandeep Chennakeshu, president of the BlackBerry’s Technology Solutions unit in a telephone phone interview to CTV News.
“(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.”
BlackBerry tested the communications boxes in October and plans are underway to make the devices available in “limited specific-use cases” in April, said Chennakeshu.
Chennakeshu said the current systems used by the shipping industry are “a little archaic and not scalable.”
“It’s a very large business, in the tens of billions of dollars, with very low penetration,” Chennakeshu added.
Entering the shipping industry is only a small part of BlackBerry’s bigger plan for the Internet of Things platform, which could garner the company hordes of new, sustainable revenue.