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.

Crank GUI Development at CES

Crank GUI Design Tool at CES

With the holiday season now in our rearview mirror, it’s time for what many technology lovers consider the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, it’s time to get your geek on at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Vegas! And speaking of geeks, we are sending a couple of Crank’s finest.

Brian and Jason will be getting their steps in on the Vegas strip, checking out the latest trends in consumer electronics at the show. CES provides a great opportunity to see where technology is heading and helps us stay in lockstep when we are developing Storyboard features and building new embedded applications. If you are planning to be at the show and want to connect with us, send us an email. We are stereotypical friendly Canadians and would be happy to show you demos of GUIs built with Storyboard, our embedded GUI design tool, and give you a sneak peek at features we’ve been working on for our upcoming release.

Meet Brian and Jason

Embedded GUI Development for the kitchen of tomorrow

We will be showing off kitchen appliance GUI demos at FoodTech Live @ CES, the first food tech event at CES. If you are lucky enough to be attending this premiere event, make sure you stop by and say HI. We will be demoing this Storyboard-built multimodal smart oven demo that incorporates voice as an input. Snips voice technology runs completely on-device which keeps data private and allows for offline functionality.

This Snips voice-activated demo ties into a panel discussion “Exploring Voice and AI-Powered Interfaces For The Kitchen” that Jason Clarke, Crank co-founder, participated in at the recent Smart Kitchen Summit. Jason also had the opportunity to have a chat with the fine folks at The Spoon during the summit, to discuss innovation in smart kitchen appliances and the future of embedded HMI.

See you in Vegas!

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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Developing rich GUI experiences for Boundary Devices Nitrogen platforms

Boundary Devices

Boundary Devices has an array of Single Board Computers (SBC) that leverage NXP i.MX applications processors for developing rich, high-performance embedded products.

Storyboard Suite GUI demo images for Boundary Devices Nitrogen Single Board Computers

We are continually working with popular platforms to test and showcase the scalability of Storyboard Suite for GUI design and development. We recently added a demo image for the Nitrogen6_MAX, which features the i.MX 6 Quad family of applications processors. This demo includes applications that span the automotive, home automation, and consumer embedded markets.

Designed and developed in Storyboard Suite, these application GUIs are built with a modern design aesthetic with a focus on usability, scalability, and performance. As always, our demo images are easy to download and install to your target advice. Download it and try it out!

Storyboard Suite GUI on the Nitrogen8M

Check out the following video from our friends at Boundary Devices of a Storyboard Suite demo running on their powerful and impressive Nitrogen8M platform.


Try Storyboard Suite for yourself, start your free, 30-day trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded GUIs from concept to production.

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Developing brilliant embedded UIs for the i.MX RT1050

Storyboard on the NXP i.MX RT

Late last year, NXP announced the i.MX RT Series, a crossover processor that is optimized for low power and high performance. Built for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and lower power usage, the i.MX RT Series doesn’t compromise on what’s important to end users; high-performance, usability, advanced multimedia, and impressive graphics. This series fills a gap and hits a sweet spot that offers the best of both the MCU and application processor worlds to provide an excellent platform option for medical, IoT, building/home automation, and smart appliance applications.

Helpful resources to get you started with embedded GUI development for the RT1050

Check out the following resources to understand more about building applications for NXP RT1050 platforms.

Demo images: We’ve been building up our inventory of NXP demo images to make it fast and simple for you to see applications on your i.MX RT1050 platforms with both uClinux and FreeRTOS variants. Download them and try them out!

On-demand webinar: In addition to demo images, we also have an on-demand i.MX1050 webinar, “Delivering performance, functionality, and stunning design to embedded products” available that we hosted with NXP.

EmCraft demo: Our friends at EmCraft Systems created a short demo built with Storyboard Suite and instructions for quickly installing it to an NXP i.MX RT1050 EVK board.

Haven’t tried Storyboard Suite yet? Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today, and test drive it for your embedded UI development.

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