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Boeing enlists BlackBerry to help build their military grade secure phone
Boeing has long been building aircraft for commercial flight and military application alike, but did you know that they have also been supplying tools for secure communications to the U.S. military and government? Those tools include their self destructing Boeing Black smart phone.
Taking the Boeing Black to the next level, the Chicago headquartered company has teamed up with BlackBerry to leverage the Canadian smartphone maker’s BES 12 Enterprise Service software.
BlackBerry has not been on the greatest roll in the last few years. They were once considered innovators in the smartphone industry, but quickly fell off the radar when Android powered smartphone powerhouses began rapidly iterating their own hardware. Failing to keep up with the specs of the big-name phones from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony, has all but sent BlackBerry to bankruptcy.
Struggles in the hardware market are not the end for BlackBerry.
I was given a lesson once on BlackBerry’s software, with emphasis on the medical industry and enterprise solutions. I know now, 4 years later, that I should have paid more attention. What I do recall is that, at that time, BlackBerry was the only smartphone vendor that was approved through the Canadian medical system’s requirements for secure communications. Primarily due to their encryption and data compression techniques.
These tools are, in part, what Boeing will leverage for their Black phone, which itself offers full encryption of voice and data using Boeing’s PureSecure architecture.
The Boeing Black promises to be an interesting beast, for those few that will have the pleasure. They tout it as being tamper proof. Not to say that you can’t crack one of these guys open, but to do so will be very difficult, with epoxies holding things shut and fancy screws with heads that are very tamper evident. Worst of all for would-be bad guys, functions are built into the unit that will trigger a full data wipe and software lockdown, a self-destruct protocol.
Finally, the Boeing Black comes with two SIM slots, so users can securely connect to government networks and commercial networks alike, and an expansion port for things like more power or a satellite hook up. Otherwise, the folks at Boeing and BlackBerry are very tight lipped about the terms of their collaboration, as you would hope they would be for a U.S. defense and homeland security project.
Do you think BlackBerry should focus on their future as a securities software company, or do you think their latest consumer hardware is enough to keep them rolling?