iPad on a dashboard. Ready for some in-car PlayBook action? Recent RIM acquisition QNX is all over it, showing off what it calls simply QNX Car. It's a basic reference implementation of some technology that will be running the infotainment systems of cars in the coming years -- though they'll surely look very different than this by then. QNX is showing how it can pull media from multiple sources, like an iPhone, use Message Access Protocol Bluetooth to pull data from a BlackBerry, and even use Terminal Mode to replicate the UI of something like the PlayBook. Plus, the PlayBook was able to change climate control settings in the car.
The company is also working on what it's called the Simple UI Protocol. It's basically a lowest-common-denominator smartphone integration -- something like Ford's AppLink that, in theory, will work regardless of the app or the hardware on the car. It's very limited, allowing just two lines of text and a few icons to be sent from the phone to the car, and just two buttons (left and right) to be sent back to the phone as controls. The idea is to remove any aspect of driver distraction and to provide AppLink-like functionality in a standard, non OEM-specific way, which we like. But, it's so limited in scope we're not sure just how useful it would be. See for yourself after the break.