6 min read

The Future of Touchless Public Touchscreens and Embedded GUIs

By Jason Clarke on Sep 16, 2020 8:19:20 AM

It’s clear that COVID-19 has people rethinking long established cultural habits, such as shaking hands and standing close to others. It is also reshaping our technology habits, as people become less comfortable with touching the public surfaces of self-serve supermarket displays, information kiosks, and ATMs. Leading hand-tracking and haptics tech company, Ultraleap, recently published their 'The End of Public Touchscreens' study whitepaper with research that confirms this: people are rapidly changing their attitudes about public touchscreens due to the virus.

For those of us building embedded systems, this raises the important question: how do you best design a touchless public interface in a hygiene-sensitive society? What is the future of touchscreens in a world where a touch can mean anything from connection to bioweapon? While devices reserved for private use – those in the home or on one’s person – can be used without consideration of contamination, from here on out any devices used by the public may need to reconsider their embedded graphical user interface.

Creating a dialog with gesture-based GUIs

One way to create a touch-less GUI (or user interface, UI) is to use gesture recognition technology. A gesture-based UI creates a dialog between human and machine where the machine serves up screens full of information, and the human provides input through natural hand motions in front of (or above) the screen.

While gesture technology has been widely available since the Microsoft Kinect released in 2010, the most widespread public acceptance beyond gaming has been in automotive applications used by BMW and others. The benefits of a gesture controlled HMI are many: there are no hygiene issues with touching surfaces, there is no mechanical wear of buttons or switches, and it can be operated in areas with loud background noise.

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2 min read

How to choose the correct hardware for embedded GUI apps

By Scott Snider on Sep 9, 2020 9:00:46 AM

When building an embedded system there are many choices you will face when deciding the correct hardware and software combinations to best get your product to market. Hardware capabilities, performance, power requirements, memory types, OS implications, packaging options, platform scalability and interoperability are just some of the considerations you will have to work through in the early stages. Most of these decisions can be answered with research, testing, and peer discussion. When it comes to your GUI application however, we’re committed to ensuring that it is created using all the best practice principles our customers have learnt along the way.


In our downloadable Best Practices Using Storyboard guide, our goal is to ensure your Storyboard application is created from the onset with these best practices in mind, and optimized for the hardware platform you’ve chosen. As a platform-agnostic framework, Storyboard can be used to build applications on a wide range of hardware platforms, and as such, your decision to use Storyboard should not influence which hardware you finally select.

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3 min read

Extending the Life of Your Embedded GUI

By Jason Clarke on Sep 2, 2020 8:56:00 AM

Ask any embedded GUI developer or designer about re-building your product’s user interface, and you’ll probably be met with groans. Creating user interfaces can be a long, laborious process and replacing them is usually something you want to do as infrequently as possible. This is true even considering best practices like using embedded software tools that enable simple screen design or coding practices that enforce cleanly separated business logic.

That’s because the bulk of the effort in creating embedded GUIs is:
- The heavy lifting of designing user workflows.
- The creation of attractive visual elements.
- Taking human-factors engineering into account.
- Performing usability tests.

Once your embedded GUI is built-out, your team needs to develop UI test suites to give you the confidence that things aren’t broken by bug fixes. Once that's done, there’s the downstream impacts to user documentation and product support that can mean substantial rework.

When you have your UI right the first time, it pays to keep it as long as humanly possible.

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19 min read

A Proven Framework: Maintaining a Responsive Embedded GUI with UI Task Prioritization

By Thomas Fletcher on Aug 26, 2020 11:06:27 AM

Thomas Fletcher, Co-Founder and lead Storyboard product guy, talks UI task prioritization in our Embedded GUI Expert Talks with Crank Software. By watching a replay of Thomas’ live video or by following along the transcript below, understand: how you can take advantage of priority selection and task scheduling for the greatest effect with your embedded user interfaces. You’ll also learn the common priority and scheduling schemes, and how the choices you make in task priority selection can have a significant impact on the quality of your embedded device’s user experience.

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23 min read

How to use glue logic to connect your data with UI elements within an embedded GUI

By Thomas Fletcher on Aug 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Thomas Fletcher, Co-Founder and VP of R&D and lead Storyboard product guy, talks glue logic, and how glue logic is a connective piece that allows product development teams to build better embedded user interfaces, in our Embedded GUI Expert Talks with Crank Software.

By watching a replay of Thomas’ live video or by following along the transcript below, understand: the pros and cons of 3 types of glue logic, how to implement the 3 different approaches, cost comparisons, and how embedded technologies like our embedded GUI development platform Storyboard, can make implementing glue logic easier.


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