Storyboard Suite & the Atmel SAMA5D4: Innovation in home automation

Home automation provides a convenient way to control home appliances and systems. Making life easier for homeowners, it also saves energy by programming devices and systems to operate within certain requirements. Controls for home automation can be as simple as dimming lights via a remote or as feature-rich as a network of home systems programmed with a main controller or mobile device.

Smart Home GUI Design

The “Smart Home”, outfitted with cutting edge home automation technology, might be a Geek’s* paradise, but has also become more mainstream for a number of reasons.

1. Energy doesn’t come cheap

A big driver is the cost of heating and powering our homes. Energy isn’t getting any cheaper, and aiming to decrease energy consumption is a mission of the financially savvy and environmentally conscious among us. Using a home automation system to pre-program home temperatures or to set appliances to run during peak hours saves electricity. That means more money for Friday night takeout.

2. Keeping our homes – and families – safe

You weren’t expecting visitors? Check out the interface of your home automation system to see who’s knocking at your door at 11pm. Home security systems are gaining in technology prowess and complexity. Designing an intuitive interface to interact with security systems increases security and safety, and by association, peace of mind.

3. Because convenience

Smart homes lend convenience to busy households. Well-designed home automation interfaces allow homeowners to interact with and control their homes in ways that maximize convenience and savings.

The best home automation interfaces are designed with users in mind. Simplicity is key, but intuitive and easy-to-use controllers require elegant design, exhaustive testing, and multiple iterations, which can be time intensive. Designing with Storyboard Suite allows teams to keep UX and UI designers engaged in the entire development process, resulting in systems that are finely tuned and highly functional, without dragging out timelines.

A simple, easy-to-use home automation demo, built with Storyboard Suite

Check out the following home automation demo on the Atmel SAMA5D4, featuring video playback. This interactive user interface was built with Storyboard Suite to manage various aspects of a home, including lighting, heating & cooling, and home security.

*We use the word “geek” with much admiration and respect, obviously.

HMI demos and Storyboard Suite at TU-Automotive Detroit 2015

TU-Automotive Detroit is just around the corner, June 3-4 in Novi, Michigan, so we are getting the Storyboard Suite demos ready to hit the road. This is a great automotive show to check out the latest in connected car technology, autonomous driving, safety & security, mobility, and more!

Crank Software is at the Detroit Auto Show

See us at TU-Automotive Detroit, June 3-4

HMI & Storyboard Suite demos in the Crank booth, C113

Stop by the Crank Software booth (C113) to see some cool automotive HMI cluster and infotainment demos on a variety of platforms, created by our talented design team using Storyboard Suite. In addition, we will be demoing the ease of designing, developing, and deploying rich HMIs with the latest features in Storyboard, so be sure to talk to us about taking a tour of our tool suite.

Partner demos

While cruising the show floor, visit the QNX Software Systems booth, #C92, to see a digital instrument cluster developed with Storyboard Suite.
Speaking of QNX, check out a recent guest post we contributed to the QNX Auto blog, to learn more about designing automotive clusters.

Storyboard Suite Free Trial

 Previous automotive HMIs developed with Storyboard Suite

QNX_concept_car_Bentley_center_stack_virtual_mechanic_nav

QNX Concept Car – Bentley Center Stack created with Storyboard Suite

Three Changes Affecting Graphical User Interface (GUI) Design

GUI Design Crank StoryboardGUI design is changing, both the process and the end product a customer interacts with on a device. This is in response to a changing market. Screens are everywhere. Refrigerators and laundry machines have interactive displays. Home automation systems are becoming more mainstream.  Our cars have technologically advanced infotainment systems and clusters that rival my 80’s dreams of the future KITT car.  The prevalence of screens has created a shift in how user interfaces are created.

There are three major GUI design changes that affect how we now need to work:

Mobile has raised expectations

The rise of mobile has raised the bar for aesthetics and user experience. There’s no room for old school graphics that include bland buttons and monochrome displays. Mobile devices have opened up users to rich UIs that are responsive, crisp, and elegant. Embedded applications have to live up to that experience.

Project teams are evolving

Due to the requirement to build richer user experiences, development teams have grown to include designers. This means tools and development processes have to extend to include them.

Graphics are created. And changed. And then changed again.

Design change is inevitable because applications are tested and re-tested. The UI is continuously evolving and requiring updates. Designers no longer hand over a mockup to a developer to visually represent with code and then walk away. The graphics have to change, which means the designer stays engaged in the process.

To respond to the changes in the market, tools for GUI design have to evolve. Processes have to be able to respond to change.

Check out our recent webinar with Freescale, to see how Storyboard Suite responds to the call for GUI design changes.

Also, view this quick video demo that we used in the webinar that showcases how Storyboard Suite is different.

 

Embedded World Day 1 recap – The GUI of Things

Just a quick update from Day 1 at Embedded World 2015 – more of a photo blog today. Pictures are more fun anyway. (As the Crank writer, it pains me to write that.)

The buzz at the show is all around the Internet of Things, or the IoT. We were spreading the word of Crank Storyboard Suite being the GUI of Things, because the end nodes of the IoT ecosystem often require devices with interfaces. The GoT just might catch on. The GUIot perhaps?

crank software embedded world booth

The booth, before the exhibition opened yesterday. We packed 10 demos in the booth and 2 stations for showing off Storyboard Suite.

Freescale, GreenHills running Crank Software

3D car cluster runing on Green HIlls INTEGRITY OS and the iMX6 Sabre Lite

Texas Instruments, Crank Software

Medical demo running on Linux on the TI AM437x

renesas, crank software

Home security demo running on Linux on the Renesas RZ/A1

atmel, crank software

Treadmill demo featuring video playback on Linux on the Atmel SAM A5D4X

IdeaBoxx, Crank Software

Washing machine demo on Linux on the Fujitsu IdeaBoxx

6SoloX

Multi-market application demo on Linux on the new Freescale iMX 6SoloX

STM, Crank Software

Automotive cluster demo running on FreeRTOS on the STM32x

Day 2 starts….NOW. Follow @cranksoftware on Twitter for live updates.

***Updated***

To see photos of Crank Storyboard Suite in our partner’s booths, check out the coverage from Day 2.

 

Storyboard Suite UI demos at embedded world 2015

Events_Embedded_World_2015

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.