On-demand webinar: Creating stunning UIs for MCUs

Storyboard Suite applications scale a range of MCU to MPU hardware targets. We traditionally discuss MCUs in terms of low power, low-cost real-time operation, and MPUs as delivering high-performance and an impressive user experience. But is there a happy compromise in the middle of that range? Is there a way to get high performance without highly impacting cost and resources? Can you get low power while keeping a tight focus on usability and a modern design aesthetic?

Closing the gap with the i.MX RT MCU series and Storyboard Suite

Storyboard is tailored to run optimally and as efficiently as possible on specific hardware targets, so we are always able to take full advantage of each platform’s unique performance capabilities and limitations. We recently hosted a webinar with our friends from NXP to discuss UI development for the i.MX RT series of Cortex-M7 crossover MCUs.

Check out this short clip from the webinar, where Brian, Crank’s president, discusses performance considerations when it comes to working with frame rate and optimization:

Missed the live webinar? Now living with the deep pangs of FOMO (fear of missing out)?

You can sign up for the on-demand recording of the webinar and watch the entire thing over your daily coffee in your PJs. We won’t judge.

Stunning Storyboard UIs on the i.MX RT MCU

Here’s a detailed list of the content that you can expect to see in the webinar:

  • Overview of RT family of NXP processors
  • Highlighted features of the i.MX RT1050
  • About the i.MX RT105 development evaluation kit
  • State of embedded product industry
  • Live Storyboard Suite demo
  • Storyboard architecture and scalability
  • Memory requirements
  • Performance considerations
  • Running an app on real hardware
  • Quickly testing out a design update
  • Comparing differences between two design iterations
  • Q&A

We also created a Storyboard demo image for the i.MX RT1050, so check that out as well if you are working with the i.MX RT1050.

Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today so that you can try out some of what you learn in our webinars.

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Video series: Getting started with Storyboard

It’s the holiday gift that keeps on giving. Storyboard Suite videos!!

Fancy Dan has been working on a new “Getting Started with Storyboard Suite” series of videos and tutorials to help new and existing customers learn more about some of the essential Storyboard features and functionality. We will be adding to this series in the coming months, so subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay in-the-loop.

Import artwork to fast-track embedded UI development

You’ve already designed your UI in Photoshop? With a few simple steps, you can bring that Photoshop content to life in Storyboard. You’ll be able to interact with your UI faster than you can say “Photoshop Import”.

Add screens, transitions, and actions to applications

Watch Dan build up his application by adding additional screens and creating transition and flow from one screen to the next.

Bring your UI to life with animations

Let’s make this UI move! Next up, Dan adds life and movement to the application with Storyboard’s animation features. Animations in Storyboard are simple to create, change, and refine.

Add interaction with trigger events and actions

Let’s tie it all together. In this video, Dan goes further into adding interaction and usability by attaching actions and events to the UI controls.

Download our full-featured 30-day FREE trial today so that you can try out what you see in these tutorials.

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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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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.

Bringing Sketch designs to Storyboard

Sketch to Storyboard Suite

We talk a lot about removing barriers to embedded development for Graphic Designers, keeping them engaged and supported throughout the lifecycle, and enabling them to work in popular 2D and 3D design tools. Adobe Photoshop has been the most popular in the design toolkit, so we’ve worked hard to ensure that designers could leverage the best of Photoshop when creating artwork for import into Storyboard. Because of this, importing PSDs into Storyboard is a quick and easy way to create applications.

Growing adoption of Sketch for user interface design

So, have you heard about Sketch? If you’re a designer, we are willing to bet you’ve either heard of it, work with it currently, or are planning to evaluate it. Sketch has garnered rapid adoption for UI design.

“It has grown in popularity like I’ve rarely seen an app do in the recent past, and for a good reason: The developers of Sketch have figured out exactly what interface designers have been looking for and have steadily added functionality to address those needs.”
Why I Switched To Sketch For UI Design (And Never Looked Back), Smashing Magazine

While we aren’t advocating the use of one design tool over another, we always work to stay educated on industry trends, tool adoption, and how to best support our customers. In fact, we have several in-house UI designers, so they have their finger on the pulse of the design industry and provide valuable feedback to our R&D team so that we can improve Storyboard release-over-release.

With the growing adoption of Sketch as a UI design tool, we’ve started working with it here at Crank, and have committed to supporting it as another source for importing content into  Storyboard applications. In our next release, you will be able to export your UI design from Sketch to be packaged for import into Storyboard. This feature is still in development being tested and refined, but if you are currently working with Sketch and Storyboard and want to get early access to the functionality, contact our Support team and we will hook you up.

You aren’t using Storyboard Suite? Take it for a spin. Download our FREE 30-day trial.