Fast and powerful GUI development for the STM32MP1 Microprocessor

Embedded GUI Development for the STM32MP1

Crank is excited about the recent release of the STM32MP1 microprocessor. The STM32MP1 series aligns with Crank’s impressive scalability which gives Storyboard customers the flexibility to create stunning user interfaces for STM32 product lines with Chrom-ART acceleration scaling up to the MP1 series leveraging OpenGL ES rendering. This range of support makes it easier for GUI design and development teams to create innovative applications that scale markets and hardware.

The STM32MP1 platform strengthens ST’s solution and aligns with Storyboard’s industry-leading scalability. The powerful 3D GPU from Vivante® lets Storyboard users create the rich graphical experiences needed in today’s embedded markets.

Brian Edmond, President of Crank Software

If you are at Embedded World this week, visit the Crank booth (4-459) and the ST booth (4A-138) to see Storyboard demos on the new STM32MP1.

Stay tuned to our demo images page for the latest Storyboard demo images for STM32 series platforms, including the STM32MP1.

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

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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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Visit Crank at the American Medical Device Summit

Delivering high-quality design and development is important for any application, but it is especially critical when creating applications for specialized targets like medical devices. User experience should be a primary focus with the UI being easy to use and intuitive for the intended audience. As an engineer, you are already challenged with ensuring that the application is fast, secure, and able to communicate with a number of sensors and the underlying hardware. If you’re lucky, you might be working with a talented UI designer who understands the sensitive nature of the design and is able to create a beautiful and user-friendly medical interface. In an ideal world, the designer could completely own the look and feel of the UI while you work your code magic in parallel. You could review and iterate the application, collaborating to deliver a solution that doesn’t compromise on design, functionality, or performance. What a time to be alive!

Sadly, that’s not always how the development workflow goes. Engineers are often left to build the look and feel of the UI in code, trying to recreate the vision of the designer. Updating an application in this traditional workflow is slow and costly, and often results in a design that isn’t what anyone fully intended. “Good enough”, isn’t good enough, especially when it comes to healthcare devices.

We believe that the best user experiences are achieved when team members are able to concentrate on doing what they do best – in parallel.

Build better medical device user experiences

“Design Thinking” is going to be a key underlying message for a lot of presentations and discussions at the American Medical Device Summit this week. This is something we are passionate about at Crank, and we are excited to be a part of the show. If you are attending and want to talk to friendly Canadians about developing beautiful user interfaces for innovative medical devices, visit our booth to check out some of our medical demos built with Storyboard Suite, including a patient monitor demo on a Microchip platform.

We are also excited to be showcasing a multi-market demo on the QNX SDP 7.0 that includes a new patient monitoring system demo which utilizes both 2D & 3D graphics.

Want to set up a meeting? Drop an email to Jason to set up a time to chat and see Storyboard Suite in action.

Meet Jason

Serving up hot UIs at the Smart Kitchen Summit

The annual Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS) is a must-attend event for those interested in the innovations within the food technology, cooking, and kitchen space. We were fortunate to attend the inaugural European event in Dublin this past June, and are pleased to sponsor and attend the North American event in Seattle, WA, October 8-9, 2018.

With the rapid adoption of modern appliances and cutting-edge technology in the kitchen, we’ve been bringing our graphical HMI and touch-screen GUI technology to innovative professional and consumer white goods products worldwide. We will be showcasing demos of smart kitchen GUIs at the event, as well as demonstrating how easy it is to create well-designed and high-performance graphical interfaces for appliances using Storyboard Suite.

Check out this Storyboard 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.

If you are planning to attend the Smart Kitchen Summit and haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can use the code CRANK25 to save 25% on the ticket price.

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

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