Creating innovative user experiences for VxWorks platforms

Crank Software Storyboard Suite support for Wind River VxWorks

Powering billions of intelligent products, Wind River VxWorks has long been a trusted real-time operating system (RTOS) for deploying embedded products and systems. With wide processor support, broad connectivity, and proven real-time performance and reliability, we are excited that VxWorks is a supported platform for bringing world-class Storyboard Suite applications to market.

At Embedded World 2018, we showcased an innovative programmable full-color dashboard display, built by Bosch Motorsport and running on VxWorks. The DDU 10 user interface was developed using Storyboard Suite and has configurable pages for customizing motorsport applications. Check out the video from Embedded World to see it in action.

 

Developing embedded applications for uClinux platforms

Storyboard targets a variety of operating systems for embedded UI development across a range of microcontrollers and microprocessors. For many developers, Linux is the OS of choice for development for MPU targets. What about for MCUs? We see a lot of RTOS options, but where does Linux fit in the MCU world? One option is uClinux.

As a variation of the Linux kernel, uClinux targets microcontrollers and provides a compelling OS alternative to developers building applications for MCU platforms who are accustomed to developing for Linux-based MPU targets. uClinux benefits from the extensive support for components and communication found in Linux and is a robust and versatile OS for a range of embedded products.

Storyboard Suite supports uClinux as a target OS and is showcased in our latest demo image for the NXP RT1050.

Download i.MX RT1050 demo image

EmCraft, one of the biggest boosters for uClinux on MCUs, offers a variety of Cortex-M-based modules with uClinux BSPs, including the STM32F7 System-On-Module which can be seen in this application that EmCraft developed in Storyboard Suite.

Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today and test drive it for your embedded UI development.

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Storyboard Suite support for the NXP i.MX RT1050

Storyboard on the NXP i.MX RT

Last week at Arm TechCon, NXP announced the new i.MX RT Series, a crossover processor that’s optimized for low power and high performance and features advanced multimedia for enhanced embedded GUIs.

Of course, we support the i.MX RT! We just updated our Storyboard demo images to include a demo for the NXP i.MX RT1050.

Download i.MX RT1050 demo image

Check out the following video showcasing Storyboard multi-market applications on the i.MX RT1050, which is based on the Arm Cortex-M7 core.

In addition, our friends at EmCraft Systems have created a short demo built with Storyboard Suite and instructions for quickly installing it to an NXP i.MX RT1050 EVK board. Check it out.

What?! You don’t use Storyboard Suite? Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today and test drive it for your embedded UI development.

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Creating a medical HMI with Storyboard Suite

The following is a post from Nik, our awesomely bearded and multi-talented Field Application Engineer. Nik recently attended the Microchip MASTERs event in Phoenix, Arizona, and describes the making of the medical demo that we brought to the show.

Storyboard Suite medical demo for the Microchip sama5d2

If you were at Microchip MASTERs 2017, you might have seen the Patient Monitor demo at the “Ask the Experts” table. Perhaps you saw the demo at the Crank Software booth and spoke to Jason Clarke or me about it. If you didn’t get the opportunity to see it live, read on to learn more. This medical HMI, created in collaboration with the fine folks at Microchip, showcases how Storyboard Suite can help you quickly prototype your UI, foster collaboration between designers and engineers, and deliver a polished product to market faster.

The goal of this medical demo was to take real data from medical devices and display it in an aesthetically pleasing, feather-rich, and user-friendly UI. The system powering this demo is the Microchip SAMA5D2 Xplained board running Linux. The following Microchip medical breakout boards are connected to the SAMA5D2:

With multiple pieces of hardware communicating to the UI, we needed a couple of design iterations to create the UI we envisioned for this setup. Storyboard allowed us to iterate designs quickly and easily by importing and reimporting content from Photoshop. We did not have to start from scratch each time the design changed. The application logic and event bindings that were previously declared stayed in place and Storyboard took care of managing the new assets. When we had a design that we were happy with, we moved on to integration.

In the integration phase, UI and engineering teams come together and connect the UI to real data. Storyboard IO enables this merger by allowing an IO interface to and from the UI. Defining a structured event and data protocol over Storyboard IO has a number of benefits. It forces a clean separation between low-level business logic and UI logic and it allows the UI to be developed in parallel to any back-end systems. The event protocol was defined early on in the design, which made the integration cycle fairly seamless. I was able to work on the C application which handled all the interfacing to hardware devices while one of our designers built the UI in parallel. When implementing features like live trend data in the UI, we were able to easily inject simulation data via Storyboard IO without needing to connect to actual hardware. With the hardware interface completed, it was simply a matter of dropping it in place. Many bugs had already been ironed out due to the ability to use simulated data, so the final stage of this project was focused on fine-tuning and tweaking the experience.

When I hooked up the UI to real data we were finally able to polish and stress test the system. The final phase was to ensure that the UI was smooth and responsive under heavy load before demo completion. Initially, there was some event flooding when all four breakout boards started sending event data at the same time. Having four active data streams also highlighted some areas for optimization in the UI which led to faster redraw times. While the designer worked on tweaking the UI, I was able to modify how frequently the back end sent data. After a few quick iteration cycles, we were able to finalize the Medical demo that shipped to Microchip MASTERs.

This easy iteration and Storyboard’s collaboration support meant we were able to work in parallel without compromising the design or underlying code in the process. The end product is a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and high-performance medical UI.

To try a Storyboard application on a Microchip platform, download one of our pre-packaged and easy-to-install demo images.

If you aren’t using Storyboard, start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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Try it now: BeagleBone Black demo image

Curious to see Storyboard Suite in action on your hardware? Our pre-built and packaged demos make it easy for you to test drive different types of applications designed for specific hardware platforms, letting you experience the powerful controls and smooth animations that create beautiful UIs and rich user experiences.

BeagleBone Black demo for medical, white goods, and home automation

The BeagleBone Black, powered by a Texas Instruments AM335x processor, is a popular platform with a rich development community and is small, easy-to-use, and powerful for creating innovative applications.

This demo image includes the following applications:

  • Smart washing machine – drill down into operational settings and track progress through cycles
  • Medical – browse through typical patient diagnostics, electronic health records (EHR), and security verification
  • Home automation – play with temperature controls, check out local weather, and customize lighting throughout the floor plan

Also included are the instructions you need to easily and quickly get the demo running on your own BeagleBone Black platform.

Download the Storyboard BeagleBone Black demo image

To try Storyboard Suite for yourself, start your free trial now and see how easy it is to create beautiful embedded UIs from concept to production.

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