Meet Crank Software at the Embedded Systems Conference

We are on the road again. This week we are at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Minneapolis (November 8-9) and we are excited to see the best in tech for embedded systems.

We’re at the show to discuss embedded design strategies and best practices and to showcase the latest in HMI user interface (UI) development, including the innovative Storyboard Suite platform that lets designers and developers work side-by-side to create amazing user experiences on a wide range of platforms.

Experience multi-market demos on a number of embedded platforms

Pop by booth 218 to see how beautifully Storyboard Suite applications scale across a range of hardware. Whether you’re in the medical, home automation, or consumer/white goods industry, we’ve brought an application of interest. Come interact with a medical demo on the Microchip SAMA5D2 that includes blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen, and temperature monitoring, as well as ECG display. Read more about the making of this demo on the Crank blog. We also have multi-market demos on an NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus and an STM32F7.

In addition to these applications that we’ve created in-house, we have a really cool customer application developed by Metrohm to show off. The Metrohm Instant Raman Analyzers (Mira) is a robust and reliable portable spectrometer for identifying and verifying chemicals and compounds that have a Raman signature. Metrohm used Storyboard Suite to create an intuitive user interface for the application, taking advantage of the internationalization capabilities in Storyboard to ensure fast and easy translation of UI elements.

See Storyboard Suite in action

Want to see us build a UI while you wait? Nik, our awesome field applications ninja, will walk you through the entire UI creation process, from Adobe Photoshop to deploying and debugging on a real target.

Drop us an email to set up a time to chat and see Storyboard Suite in action. We hope to see you at the show!

Meet Nik or Jason

To try out Storyboard on different platforms for yourself, download and run our ready-to-go demo images.

Storyboard Suite UI demos at embedded world 2015

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We’ve been gearing up for embedded world, February 24-26, and the biggest challenge we have right now is getting the mountain of demos we’ve been preparing boxed and ready to ship to Nuremberg. We are bringing more hardware to embedded world 2015 than we ever have before, which gives us more opportunities to showcase applications built with Storyboard Suite.

Storyboard UI demos at embedded world 2015

If you are planning to be at the show, stop by and visit us in Hall 4, booth 4-547. Here’s a list of some of the demos and target platforms showcasing Storyboard that we’ll be bringing with us:

While you’re making the rounds at the exhibit, check out some of our partners showcasing Storyboard technology in their booths, including Green Hills Software (Hall 4/4-325) and Atmel (Hall 4A/4A-230).

Check out the soon-to-be released Storyboard Suite 4.0

In addition to the Storyboard demos we are bringing to embedded world, we will also be showcasing the newest features and enhancements in our next release of Storyboard Suite, which is just around the corner! You’ll want to stop by our booth to test drive the latest and greatest.

We’ve been putting in a lot of development hours to ensure Storyboard users don’t have to. We’ve focused heavily on streamlining the design experience and supporting collaborative team development. Enhancements include multiple application design file support, model comparison and merge streamlining, improved capabilities for editing properties in Storyboard Designer, support for 9-patch images, Lua Editor updates to increase productivity and make debugging easier, relaxed naming conventions for elements in Storyboard Designer, support for scrolling layers and circles and arc render extensions, and more!

If you want to get together with us at embedded world, please contact us to set up a meeting. Alternatively, come by our booth and chat us up. We are looking forward to seeing you!

As always, we provide a full-featured 30-day evaluation for you to try out Storyboard Suite first hand.

Coming soon to Storyboard Suite: Support for 9-patch Images

Application design usually means working with an abundance of graphics, and when designing applications for multiple screen sizes, designers have to keep in mind how those images will scale when deployed across different resolutions and aspect ratios. A button that looks great on one screen might have awkward corners or warped text when scaled to fit a screen of a different size. To avoid this, designers often create multiple versions of their graphics in various sizes. While this allows for tight control over the visual presentation of the graphics, it also means extra time, effort, and resources.

So how do we create graphics with scalability in mind without having to duplicate effort, bloat file resources, or sacrifice quality? Enter 9-patch.

What is a 9-patch image?

Essentially, a 9-patch image is a custom graphic that scales the way that you intend it to, which you define when creating the graphic. Where supported, this stretchable image is automatically resized to accommodate the content as defined. The “as defined” part is what allows designers to retain control over how a graphic looks even when it is resized.

Check out this example. Both buttons look the same before, but the 9-patch button retains it’s original appearance when resized to be slightly wider and much higher. The other image scales poorly, especially at the border and corners.

9_patch

How to define the stretchable areas of an image

9Patch`A 9-patch image is a standard PNG image that includes an extra 1-pixel-wide border and must be saved with the extension .9.png. When creating 9-patch images, designers can indicate which areas can and cannot be stretched. We will post our own tutorial when we release the next version of Storyboard Suite, but for now see this tutorial to learn how to create 9-patch images. For more information on the background of 9-patch, check out the Android Developer documentation.

We are stoked about the new features and enhancements that are coming out in the next release of Storyboard Suite, which is just around the corner. 9-patch support is just one of the many features we’ve added to streamline the design process, so stay tuned for release information!

Crank Storyboard Suite making the rounds at Telematics Detroit 2014

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Crank was on the exhibition floor at Telematics Detroit 2014. The event was abuzz with conversations around design innovations, safety in infotainment, life/car integration and more. And let’s not leave out IoT. The “Internet of Things” is bound to come up once or twice with car connectivity a topic at the forefront.

telematicsCrankBooth

The calm before the storm…

Live Demo of Storyboard Suite to Designers and Developers of UIs for Automotive Applications

We provided a live demo of Storyboard Suite to see first-hand how quickly you can take your designs from Photoshop, import them into Storyboard, and turn them into functioning prototypes in minutes. Also, we brought along some tech gear to show off embedded UIs created with Storyboard running on a variety of target devices, including:

Also, if you visited the TI booth, you were able to check out the demos of Storyboard on QNX and a Green Hills Software INTEGRITY cluster. The fact that we’re showcased on so many operating systems and hardware devices really speaks to Storyboard’s portability.

Storyboard Suite 3.2.1 by CrankDownload a free 30 day evaluation of a fully functional version of Storyboard Suite now. 

Embedded World Germany

I never did follow up with pictures of our finished booth at Embedded World. Do I have a good reason for not doing so? What kind of wicked excuse can I come up with … I was kidnapped by << insert something witty here>>.

Unfortunately (not really) it was because we were busy. A good busy! We had a great number of familiar and new faces visit the booth. A number of people visiting the booth had already heard of Crank which is always great. We were able to demo Storyboard to individuals who had already evaluated the product and wanted some additional insight on how to do certain things. Existing customers stopped by to say hi and see what we were up to and get a feel of what was coming down the SB pipeline. Last but definitely not least, all the folks that stopped by that had never heard of Crank software. It was great speaking to them about their existing UI solutions and their upcoming or existing projects where Storyboard might be a good fit.  All in all, an awesome show!

Here are some pics of our finished booth before the show doors opened. Jason (VP of Sales & Marketing) and Thomas (VP of R&D) gearing up for the day ahead.

Thomas with his game face on 🙂