QNX Celebrates Launch of the Playbook

There is never a dull moment for QNX. As we’ve mentioned, our clients at QNX Software Systems are responsible for powering most of the world. From in-car entertainment to commercial airlines, pharmaceutical production and even what we’re up to in space – QNX develops many of the operating systems that make these things happen.

QNX was in the news again last week, as Research in Motion (RIM) announced the much-anticipated global launch of the new
Blackberry Playbook. There is certainly no shortage of buzz around this new device (as a worthy opponent to the all mighty iPad), and our client has a lot to do with it. The Blackberry Playbook runs on the QNX Neutrino® RTOS, which is largely responsible for the tablet’s impressive capabilities.

Critics are praising many features of the Playbook, like its seamless navigation and superb ability to multitask. It has been said that the Playbook stands to be the top choice of tablet for the corporate market. With a smaller, sleeker form than other tablets available – and boasting Flash-compatibility – the Playbook could cause some devout Apple fans to question their faith. Who knows, we could end up seeing more and more user feedback like this:

“If/when they put QNX in their phones I may very well trade my iPhone for a Blackberry.” Navid Boostani, Toronto Sun Reader

In tandem with the launch, BSL put together a
video for QNX, highlighting just some of the things that the new Blackberry Playbook can do.


For Your Inspiration: Digitizing Nostalgia

Pine Point, Northwest Territories was a mining town that existed for 30 odd years, long enough for a generation to make its way through. A joint venture between the Canadian government and Cominco (the mining company), the townsite was built to service those working in the open pit mine. At its peak, it had a bustling population of 1200 residents. It had an airport, a hotel and no shortage of archetype characters. Residents went to school, formed bands, grew mullets, drank at the legion or anywhere they could. When the mine closed in 1988, so was the town. Most of it was hauled away, buried or burned.

"Welcome to Pine Point" is a NFB website documentary that tells the story of the town and it residents. Part memoir, part research project, part design piece, the story is put together by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, the creative team "The Goggles", responsible for such things like Adbusters Magazine.

You can flip through the site in about 10 minutes or a full hour to take in all the details, which where in lies the beauty of this story. It is a documentary on the challenges of capturing memories and documenting life; the evolution in photography and the vanishing custom of keeping photo albums (when was the last time you got a roll of film developed?) but also the shift in media that is being used to document history. With the creators background being in print, they admit that this was originally suppose to be a book but were convinced to make it digitally, into a sort of narrated scrapbook. They bring to life the story of Pine Point through a collage of pictures, graphics, video and audio. As opposed to being a more passive experience of flipping through a book, they have made it into an enriched visual, audio and interactive experience, allowing the reader to dig through layers and get deeper into the story.

"Welcome to Pine Point" is a great piece of design, stylistically it captures an era and structurally it looks forward to the next. Is this where books are going (the new incarnation of the coffee book)? Does a project like this reinforce the statement that "Print is dead", that print is evolving into new media forms in our shift on how we consume information?


The New ‘Must-Have’ Accessory for Social Media Strategists

Every day more and more companies are joining the brave new world of social media. As this trend continues (to the point where it can’t be called a trend any longer) it’s becoming more and more challenging to stand out from the clutter. Concentrating on our own social networks, as well as those of our clients, BSL has uncovered some interesting challenges.

A good social media strategy is about more than just joining a network. It takes a careful combination of strategy, creativity, content and timing to effectively reach readers wth your message, and encourage them to engage with it. While we can control the first three, the gamble lies in timing. For many, the world of social media is a mysterious mix, and begs the question: Is there an optimal time of day to send an update, when people are more likely to respond? Is 11am better than 2pm?

Enter Arkli, a new social media management system. BSL recently sat down with Mike Potter, owner of the Ottawa-based start-up.

Arkli is a Social Engagement Platform where companies can schedule multiple posts on their social networks, to coordinate a message on several different channels at the same time. Say you want to post a blog that features a video you plan to upload to YouTube. You may then decide you want to push this content out on your Facebook and Twitter. All of these updates can be done on Arkli. What makes Arkli unique? You can share these posts with key influencers before they go live.

We love this concept and so BSL has recently become an Arkli beta-tester. We will be providing feedback on new tools and features, and posting any updates on our blog as they happen – maybe even before they go live.