Meet Crank at Embedded World

Embedded World

With the abundance of innovative technologies for embedded product development on display, Embedded World is one of our favorite events of the year, and we are prepping for a busy and exciting show.

If you are at Embedded World, visit Crank (Hall 4, booth 459) and talk to our experts about:

  • How to reduce BOM costs with Storyboard Lite
  • How to reduce power draw with hybrid rendering on the i.MX 7ULP
  • Getting a live demo of pre-release of Storyboard 6.0
  • Who’s using Storyboard to get to market faster

Reduce BOM costs with Storyboard Lite

Storyboard has been helping customers build rich, animated GUIs on microcontrollers such as NXP’s i.MX RT series, STM’s STM32Fx, and others for many years. What’s changed with the introduction of Storyboard Lite is that it further reduces resource requirements to allow our customers to save on platform costs by excluding external memory controllers in many cases.

Storyboard Lite still utilizes the same beloved GUI development environment that Crank is known for but now allows customers to take their designs to new depths.

Reduce power draw with Crank hybrid rendering

Power draw and battery life are critical for many embedded devices, in addition to delivering remarkable user experiences. To provide the quality demanded by today’s consumers the use of a 3D GPU is required, but this comes with the cost of utilizing more power. With Crank’s new hybrid rendering on the NXP i.MX 7ULP, your GUI can automatically switch between using different rendering backends depending on the requirements of the application at any given time. Use the 3D GPU when it’s required but fall back to using the more power-friendly G2D rendering when it isn’t, and save between 30% on power utilization without any extra effort. Come and talk to us about it!

Get a live demo of the pre-release of Storyboard 6.0

Be one of the cool kids and be the first to get a look at Storyboard 6.0. Our development team has once again been hard at work adding new features and streamlining the workflow for designers and developers. At Embedded World we will be using and showing off the latest features targeted for our release this Spring, including:

  • the ability for designers to better see design states, allowing you to visualize different modes of your interface
  • visibility into live metrics on memory usage as you build your UI, giving you instant feedback on how your design decisions affect performance
  • translation automation for a streamlined internationalization process for a global market

See who’s using Storyboard to get to market faster

Every year more and more customers are discovering how using Storyboard gets them to market better and faster. This year is no exception, and at the Crank booth, we will be showing in-market products from multiple fortune 500 companies. Some of the highlights include customers in the home appliance, beverage dispenser, and wifi thermostats markets, and more!

Book a meeting at Embedded World

Come visit us! We are friendly Canadians with a love for embedded technology. We’d love to talk to you about GUI embedded development.

Reimagining UI Design at the Smart Kitchen Summit

***I asked Nick Deeble, our enterprising sales manager, to pass along his thoughts and musings regarding his recent attendance at the Smart Kitchen Summit. Rarely short on words, Nick had the opportunity to talk with a lot of attendees about their challenges with developing UIs for appliances.***

Smart kitchen Crank Storyboard Suite embedded UI development

We recently had the privilege of being a sponsor at the Smart Kitchen Summit, an event that’s a bit of a departure from the shows we regularly attend. SKS is a specialized event, bringing together everything from the latest technologies impacting cooking to robotics to organic farmers and evolving food distribution methods.

Jason Clarke, Crank Software co-founder, participated in a panel discussion “Exploring Voice and AI-Powered Interfaces For The Kitchen.” As an industry veteran in embedded UI development, Jason has years of experience and understanding of user interaction with embedded devices. He’s seen the evolution of technology as many companies try to solve the common problem of visually representing the communication between people and products. Crank’s mission is to simplify bringing that interaction to life. Check out the following interview that Jason did with the great folks at The Spoon:

In addition to the speaking opportunities, we showcased a variety of kitchen appliance demos at the show and had the opportunity to meet with attendees to discuss their challenges with designing and developing products for the embedded market. Included in our demos was an oven control panel provided by GHSP running a UI designed and developed using Crank Storyboard Suite. Feedback on the demo was positive, with attendees being impressed by the aesthetic of the graphics, the fluidity of the animations, and the intuitive nature the User Interfaces Crank demonstrated. We received a lot of compliments about the performance, smoothness, and responsiveness of our UIs. One of our customers, who was showcasing a new appliance with a UI built in Storyboard, popped by our table to thank us for our customer focus and to point out how much better their UI was than the others they were seeing. We will never get tired of that type of feedback.

Challenges in designing for the smart kitchen

A few common themes popped up in our conversations with attendees:

  • Creating a professional and differentiated user experience for embedded devices can be challenging given tight timelines.
  • Because design change is inevitable and there’s a need to continually update UIs to respond to stakeholder feedback and evolving product scope, we had a lot of questions about how we enable iterating and testing UIs using Storyboard to ensure the delivery of a high-quality product throughout the lifecycle.
  • Embedded design and development often requires support for multiple markets, language translation, and custom branding.
  • There’s a shift from home appliances to home experiences. Connecting appliances together, connecting them to the internet, and communicating with them through a mobile device, are all part of the evolving vision of the kitchen

These were just some of the challenges that many appliance manufacturers wanted to chat with us about to hear how we’ve has built these capabilities into the Storyboard Suite GUI development framework. We are going to address this functionality and our thoughts on the future of designing and developing for smart kitchens in a future blog post.

If you want to see multi-market Storyboard Suite demos on your favorite platforms, download one of our easy-to-run demo images.

As always, we provide a full-featured 30-day evaluation for you to test drive Storyboard Suite.

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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.

Build better embedded UIs. Meet Storyboard Suite 5.1.

Earlier this year we introduced Storyboard Suite 5.0, which gave UI designers more control than ever over the aesthetic and user experience of embedded application projects. The release included a lot of new functionality and features for both designers and engineers, especially in Storyboard Designer.

We’ve recently made enhancements and updates to Storyboard with our latest release, Storyboard Suite 5.1. Don’t worry, these updates won’t trip you up much from a functionality perspective. We haven’t moved around the elements in the UI or introduced anything to the workflow that will require you to invest too much time to get up to speed. We’ve tweaked some things behind the scenes to make UI development work a little smoother and faster. More importantly, we’ve extended the reach of embedded application development by introducing support for new platforms and technologies, making it easier to deliver Storyboard applications across markets and hardware.

Storyboard Designer 5.1 updates and enhancements

Here’s what’s new in Storyboard Designer:

  • Eclipse – Storyboard Designer is now based on the Eclipse Framework NEON 4.6.
  • x64 – Storyboard Designer has been switched from a 32-bit application to 64-bit on all hosted platforms.
  • Cloning – When cloning an object, we now check to see if a control with the new name already exists, so that you don’t have to.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts to group and ungroup – We’ ve introduced the concept of grouping and un-grouping through a new action bound to Control/Command + G and Control/Command + SHIFT + G.
  • SCP – The SCP command execution now has the ability to write output to the console.
  • Lua Debugger – Storyboard Designer now queries the Lua debug port number in use and passes it into the runtime.

Increased platform support

With each release, we continue to increase the reach of Storyboard Suite across platforms, making it easier for our customers to work with a wide range of target hardware. Here’s what’s new in Storyboard 5.1:

  • NXP i.MX8 – Take advantage of the powerful combination of Storyboard Suite and the NXP i.MX8.
  • QNX 7.0 SDP swrender and OpenGL runtime – Develop high-performance, innovative, and secure applications for the new QNX 7.0 SDP.
  • ST Accordo5 Wayland OpenGL runtime – Deliver cutting edge in-car experiences with Storyboard Suite for the ST Accordo5.
  • Wind River VxWorks – Combine Storyboard Suite with the safety and security of the VxWorks real-time OS to bring world-class applications to market.
  • Renesas RZ/A1 RGA– Storyboard 5.1 fully supports the Renesas Graphics Architecture (RGA) library to deliver impressive application performance for the RZ/A1 platform.

Try Storyboard Suite 5.1 for yourself! Start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production, on more platforms than ever before.

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Embedded World 2017: Storyboard UI Demos

Crankonauts Crank Software Employees

Crank Software Inc – Team at Embedded World 2017

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” That’s good because I am currently drowning in photos and videos from Embedded World 2017. With over 30,000 attendees at the show, we had the opportunity to talk to people with a wide variety of skill sets and job titles. We brought a lot of hardware to Germany again this year which is always a great conversation starter. People were thrilled to see the breadth of platform support and to have the opportunity to interact with Storyboard UI demos on actual targets.

Check out these photos of demos from our booth (Hall 4/4-270) and demos that we spied in some partner booths.

NXPiMX6UL

Multi-Market Storyboard Demo on NXP i.MX 6UltraLite

NXPiMX7ULP

MNXP i.MX 7UltraLowPower

NXPiMX8

Storyboard Distributed eCockpit running on NXP i.MX8

NXPiMX6QP

Movie Kiosk, IoT Home, and 3D Automotive Cluster on the NXP i.MX6QuadPlus

ToradexiMX6DL

Movie Kiosk, Robotic Arm, and Home IoT Demo on the Toradex Colibri i.MX 6DualLite

STF746NG

Home Automation Demo on the ST32F746 running FreeRTOS

STF429

Storyboard Multi-market Demo on the ST32F429 running FreeRTOS

AtmelSAMA5D2

Storyboard Multi-market Demo on the Atmel SAMA5D2

AtmelSAMA5D4

Storyboard Multi-market Demo on the Atmel SAMA5D4

RenesasRZA1

Storyboard Multi-market Demo on the Renesas RZ/A1

EAiMX6SoloX

Storyboard Robotic Arm Demo on the Embedded Artists i.MX 6SoloX

TexasInstrumentsQNX

Storyboard Automotive Cluster on the TI Jacinto 6 running QNX

Our demos were also featured in other booths throughout the conference, including the NXP booth. Check out this distributed eCockpit on the i.MX 8, designed in Storyboard Suite.

In case you hadn’t heard, we recently released Storyboard Suite 5.0, so download a 30-day free evaluation and take it for a test drive. To try some of the demos showcased in the booth at Embedded World, download our easy-to-use demo images.

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