BlackBerry Enters Smartwatch Market

BlackBerry entered the smartwatch market by integrating its messenger application (BBM) to Android Wear, the operating system of Google for wearable devices.

During the International CES consumer electronics and technology trade show held at Las Vegas, BlackBerry demonstrated how its BBM works on smartwatches power by the Android Wear operating system.

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BlackBerry BBM for Android Wear will be available soon

According to Jeff Gadway, director of enterprise products at BlackBerry said the BBM for Android Wear devices will be available soon, about two months from now. BBM is expected to be integrated in different smartwatches such as Samsung Galaxy Gear S and Moto 360.

BlackBerry believes that people in the business industry will start purchasing smartwatches for quick wrist-based alerts and longer communications. Smartwatches appear to be more convenient to check notifications or messages because users will no longer have reach into their pockets or purse for their smartphone.

During the event, Gadway showed how BBM users will be able to send a brief message or make a voice interaction with another person using the Galaxy Gear S smartwatch, which was connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

“The smartwatch is great for me if I’m in a meeting and get a notice on my wrist, then I can swipe right and hit a pre-set to send back a response, ‘Why don’t we connect once we’re done?” said Gadway.

In addition, Gadway said, “It’s early for smartwatches, but BlackBerry decided it’s definitely worth exploring. This is our move beyond smartphones to wearables.”

BlackBerry has 90 million active BBM users, and it is growing. The Canadian technology company provides a high-level of encryption to its messaging service, which is needed by businesses to ensure the security of their communications and information.

BlackBerry unveils new Passport for AT&T

BlackBerry also launched a new version of the Passport smartphone exclusively for AT&T. The new Passport smartphone has rounded corner. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said AT&T wants a device customized for its use and the rounded corners provided the solution.

The telecommunications company will offer the device for $50 with a two-year wireless contract or $420 without contract.