BlackBerry confirms it’s working with Boeing to offer ultra-secure ‘spy’ phone

blackberry confirms its working with boeing on ultra secure phone black
BlackBerry and Boeing are teaming up to offer the aerospace company’s ultra-secure ‘spy’ smartphone.

Reports of the ‘Boeing Black’ device have been knocking around for over two years, though with BlackBerry’s announced involvement it seems the project is about to take its next step forward.

The Android device is geared toward those working for government agencies, or any organization where data security is paramount, and is unlikely to get a public release.

BlackBerry boss John Chen confirmed his company’s involvement during a conference call with financial analysts on Friday.

“We’re pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform,” Chen said, adding (presumably with his tongue firmly in his cheek), “That, by the way, is all they allow me to say.”

According to Bloomberg, Boeing has been testing its smartphone with BlackBerry’s BES, the company’s business enterprise server product that helps large organizations manage their employees’ mobile devices in a secure environment.

‘Pursuing a number of opportunities’

Boeing spokesman Andy Lee told Bloomberg the two firms are “pursuing a number of opportunities….to help [BlackBerry] ensure the BES 12 operating system is compatible with, and optimized for use by, the ultra-secure mobile devices favored by the defense and security community.”

Boeing Black

While many media reports have described Boeing’s phone as having the ability to “self-destruct” if tampered with, banish from your mind images of dramatic explosions or meltdowns. It appears that if this particular device gets in the wrongs hands, it merely erases all of its data.

An FCC filing published earlier this year elaborated: “Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable.”

According to Boeing, the phone can be configured to link with biometric sensors or satellites, and an array of attachments allow it to extend battery life and utilize solar power.

Details released earlier this year revealed a 4.3-inch, 170g slab almost twice as thick as the the iPhone 6. It’s possible the design has been refined since then, though at the time of writing Boeing’s webpage [pdf] for the device continues to show the same specs.

Boeing said its phone will only be sold “in a manner such that low-level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public.”

As for BlackBerry, working with Boeing on a secure mobile product fits with Chen’s strategy to focus on areas that made the Canadian company such a powerful force in the market in the years before iOS and Android unceremoniously knocked it from its perch.

Health & Fitness

JLABS injects some tech into the medical industry

Innovating health care is expensive, risky, and complicated legally. One company is trying to remove these barriers with clever and altruistic approach.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The world’s first smartglasses showrooms open in Brooklyn and Toronto

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in October, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto.
Mobile

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Mobile

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.
Product Review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

Misfit’s next-generation smartwatch, the Vapor 2, packs built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and more, into a beautiful design that starts from $250. We take a closer look at the company's latest device.
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices.