Embedded GUI Design and Development Tool

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    5 min read

    What you need to know when considering squeezing into a microcontroller to build an embedded GUI.

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 19, 2019 1:15:48 PM

    If you’ve been following our blog or have downloaded our eBook around best practices for embedded UI development on microcontrollers (MCUs) to microprocessors (MPUs), then you’ll know that squeezing your application into a microcontroller is one of the best ways to reduce your product’s bill of materials.

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    4 min read

    Crank GUI Services: Why Vorwerk & other billion dollar brands work with us.

    By Alecia O'Brien on Nov 5, 2019 2:48:43 PM


    As a cutting-edge software company focused on brilliant user experiences, we make sure we're always in-the-know when it comes to the latest innovations in the tech world, so we're always ready to help the next group of innovative leaders. We're noticing that more and more, smart technologies are giving people back the time they currently spend on doing day-to-day activities around the house. This includes smart kitchen tech: planning, preparing, and cooking food...

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    4 min read

    Is the free STM32 GUI builder right for your next embedded project?

    By Jason Clarke on Oct 28, 2019 11:03:15 AM



    If you’re using an STM32 microcontroller, you may have noticed that STMicroelectronics now bundles in free graphics software from TouchGFX as part of STM32Cube software packages. And you may be wondering if it makes sense to use for your next embedded GUI project.

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    3 min read

    Don't get lost in translation, Storyboard's latest update makes it easy to internationalize your embedded UI.

    By Scott Snider on Oct 24, 2019 11:23:40 AM

    We're excited to announce our latest release of Storyboard. As a UX and customer-focused software company, we make a point to focus on regular, smaller updates too - primarily focused on improving the experience of existing features. But that doesn't mean we don't make room to sneak in some great new features too - especially ones that improve our customers' experience with Storyboard. We're excited. Watch our video and get excited too. Want more details? Read on below...

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    4 min read

    The challenge of code reuse - and what you can do about it when building GUIs

    By Thomas Fletcher on Oct 18, 2019 10:05:15 AM

    Systematically developing high-quality reusable software components and frameworks has traditionally been a tall order. Many developers successfully reuse code snippets from one program to another, which saves a certain amount of development time; however, this practice does little compared to leveraging assets like architectures, components, and frameworks.

    There are a number of reasons (both technical and non-technical) why software reuse is difficult, particularly in companies with a large installed base of legacy software and developers. One of the reasons we see most frequently – and one of the easiest to correct – is the failure to separate business logic from the UI (user interface). Projects with interwoven business logic and UI code are time-consuming and tedious to convert over to new screen sizes, hardware platforms, or operating systems - a common requirement.

    There are four steps you need to take if you are building products with embedded GUIs (graphical user interface) and want to take advantage of code reuse in a systematic fashion. Although it’s Storyboard-specific, the central ideas are applicable elsewhere.

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    2 min read

    Webinar with Toradex: Intro to creating rich UIs with Storyboard on NXP i.MX with Torizon.

    By Alecia O'Brien on Oct 15, 2019 10:26:23 AM

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    4 min read

    Why you should consider a microcontroller for your most profitable product release yet.

    By Jason Clarke on Oct 2, 2019 11:29:18 AM

    When it comes to the buying patterns of North American consumers, the market is changing. It used to be that you could make one dishwasher, one toaster, and one vacuum cleaner to attract a mass audience but that is less and less the case. Successful brands now target both the high-end as well as the low-end of the market for several reasons:

    • Hourglass economy – upscale consumers look for luxury while those less affluent look for value
    • Brand loyalty – young consumers become loyal long-term purchasers at the low end when they form early buying habits
    • Tech adoption curve – early adopters are less cost-sensitive and pay more for the latest tech while technology laggards do not
    • Marketing trial – upscale products are a great way to test new ideas before building products at volume
    • Competition – multiple product price levels help companies grab market share away from competitors
    • Shelf space – product proliferation captures more attention in both bricks-and-mortar and online stores
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    5 min read

    The 3 hottest embedded UI  trends to see at Smart Kitchen Summit 2019.

    By Alecia O'Brien on Sep 25, 2019 9:16:28 AM



    The kitchen is becoming one of the tech scene’s fastest growing spaces. It makes sense: the kitchen is the center of the home – where we nourish ourselves, bond with our families, and socialize with friends.  New technologies are bursting into the smart kitchen scene with the intent to give people back the time they currently spend planning, preparing, and cooking food. It’s a long-awaited combination: food ecosystem meets modern tech.

    We have our own insights about where kitchen tech is going through our work helping customers develop cutting-edge consumer products, especially as it relates to those with embedded UIs. But to get a fresh perspective, we decided to talk to Michael Wolf, publisher of the Spoon and creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS), to ask him what epic trends we could expect to see at this year’s show in Seattle, Washington.

    The 3 hottest kitchen trends to see at SKS 2019 are...
    Trend #1: Consumer products with multi-modal inputs 
    Trend #2: Software-defined appliances
    Trend #3: Embedded projection screens

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    4 min read

    How to shift your product market to the high-margin, high-growth segment.

    By Jason Clarke on Sep 17, 2019 11:22:20 AM

    For many years, product success was based on mass marketing, mass production, and massive retailers. But the world has changed. More and more people are choosing to pay a premium for fewer but higher quality goods. This trend of premiumization is creating new markets for Coach purses, BMW sedans, and Callaway golf clubs with younger, less affluent buyers. Of course this trend applies to high-tech purchases too – Nielsen reports that 29 percent of North American customers are willing to pay top dollar for their personal electronics.

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    3 min read

    How we resolved a coffee conundrum with a Storyboard UI

    By Courtney Stevenson on Sep 2, 2019 11:55:27 AM

     

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    4 min read

    The low down on Hybrid Rendering and why you should include it in your next wearable or IoT product development project

    By Brian Edmond on Aug 7, 2019 12:07:14 PM

    If you haven’t heard the term hybrid rendering before, that’s because it’s pretty new. Broadly speaking, hybrid rendering generates graphics by using multiple distinct paths through silicon. One example is creating CGI movie frames using both a GPU and a CPU however we at Crank use the term for something that is much more useful for embedded developers and designers: rendering a user interface with multiple graphics accelerators.

    If this feat seems intriguing or even confusing – read on.

    In the embedded domain, hybrid rendering means creating a user interface with both a 3D GPU and a secondary graphics processor within the same application. The secondary graphics processor must be able to accelerate 2D graphics (this is typically a composition core but other options are possible). The application dynamically switches between accelerators at run-time, depending on what graphics need to be displayed.

    An example of silicon with the right magic is the NXP 7ULP which has both an Open GL ES GPU as well as a 2D GPU accelerator/compositor. The 2D GPU is very powerful and can accelerate alpha blending, scaling, rotation/mirroring, overlays, bit blits, lines, rectangles, color space conversion, and more, with much less power consumption than its 3D equivalents.

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    3 min read

    Elevating the role of the embedded UI designer

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 31, 2019 12:37:03 PM

    You’ve heard us talking about design in the embedded realm before, and if you know anything about the team at Crank Software, you know that this is something we feel passionate about. Here’s a simple example of the power of design.

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    3 min read

    How to build your next smartwatch UIs - without killing your battery.

    By Alecia O'Brien on Jul 25, 2019 11:08:37 AM

    NXP's i.MX 7ULP and Crank Storyboard UIs – a winning combination for 3D graphics processing on small battery-operated devices.

    When I went looking for a forgotten smart watch charger while camping this past weekend, I cursed at the manufacturers who hadn't met my power needs. Yes, my girls were all over my watch playing with the graphics, but the fact my battery died hours before the sun went down was beyond frustrating.

    For this reason, giving consumers a brilliant, touch screen experience that doesn't have a battery-sucking trade off is the goal of engineers globally.

    Consider this: the present battery technology road map has a 2x capacity improvement every decade, while the power demand will probably increase at the rate of 2x every 18 months or so. This stat reinforces the need to continually innovate power solutions for small battery-operated devices. 

    Our partner NXP went to work on this several years ago and appear to have solved this challenge with the launch of the i.MX 7ULP - the lowest power consuming GPU enabled microprocessor on the market. It runs a rich OS, but operates at MCU level low-power all while having both a 2D and 3D GPU on board, which means future smart devices like the smart watch I want for Christmas is going to have an incredibly long battery life, while having ALL the features and fancy 3D and 2D graphics I didn't even know were possible.

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    3 min read

    Develop lean and high-performance embedded UIs for MCU platforms with Storyboard Lite

    By Jennie on Jul 4, 2019 7:14:41 AM

    Don't carry more than you need. It's a rule that applies to many things.

    I once bought my daughter one of those gigantic packages of crayons that contain over 200 colors and 33 shades of blue. She only used 12 of the colors but still had to carry that big package in her little backpack to school every day. She complained that it took up too much space in her bag and that it was so heavy it slowed her down. It was more than she needed.

    Having more than you need is also a hindrance in embedded software development. Mass market products are built with cost in mind, which means teams are building applications for hardware platforms that are lean on memory and resources. These applications have to be able to fit AND perform well, making optimization and fine-tuning critical to success. You can't deploy more than you need. You have to choose which of the 33 shades of blue you need.

    In our recent Storyboard 6.0 release, we launched Storyboard Lite, an exciting new configuration of our widely-adopted embedded UI development tool. Storyboard Lite helps teams build applications that are tailor-made for their hardware platforms, especially for small resource-constrained targets where every kilobyte matters. It's lean enough to deliver fast and efficient applications, but with the same collaborative workflow and ease-of-use that developers are familiar within Storyboard.

    Listen to what Thomas Fletcher, Crank's VP of R&D, had to say about Storyboard Lite and other supporting functionality at Embedded World 2019.

     

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    3 min read

    See how your dynamic screen content will behave at runtime while you design

    By Mike Marchand on Jun 18, 2019 11:33:53 AM

    When you run an embedded application, screens are dynamic and change in response to data and animations. However, you can't see those dynamics during design time, so you're left with blank screens until you simulate or test the application on a device. If you've ever had to work with content that you could not see by default during the design process, you probably had to make that content visible while working with it, and then return it to its invisible state when finished. This workaround is cumbersome and prone to user error.

    In this post, we’ll tackle the challenge of designing content that reacts to changes at runtime, the problem with the traditional workflow, and a better way to visualize content throughout its modalities.

    Challenges with working with dynamic content at design time

    Traditionally, this has been the workflow:

    1. Toggle the visibility of the layer (and all those that are obscuring it)
    2. Work with the content on the layer to make desired changes
    3. Restore the visibility of all the changed layers

    This workaround is error-prone because all it takes is forgetting to restore the visibility of a single element to leave things in a bad state. Also, it's tedious and time-consuming because these additional steps aren't providing any additional feedback to the developer when they restore the layers.

    Check out the following video to learn about a better solution to working with dynamic content and making it faster and easier to build up your GUI screens.

     

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    2 min read

    Crank Software releases Storyboard 6.0 to help deliver impressive customer experiences on smaller embedded devices

    By Jennie on Jun 3, 2019 12:02:33 PM

     

     

    If you're creating applications for MCU platforms and constantly challenged to reduce your costs without compromising performance, then we know you’re going to be excited about the capabilities we've added in Storyboard 6.0

    The following video gives a quick overview of the performance-enhancing features we’ve added to our release that make building remarkable applications of all sizes an achievable reality.

     

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    3 min read

    The making of a rebrand: the evolution of Crank Software

    By Jennie on May 23, 2019 2:43:17 PM

    If you visited our website over the past month, you might have noticed that we look a bit different. Actually, we look a lot different. Like, burn the internet down and start over different. We overhauled our website from top to bottom, from both a content and an aesthetic perspective. In our website tear down, we took stock of the what we wanted to keep and update, what content required a refresh, and which pages no longer sparked joy. Yes, we Marie Kondo'd* cranksoftware.com, and we are now overflowing with all of the joy, and none of the clutter.

    Speaking of joy, check out the happy faces in our awesome new video that we created to provide a quick answer to "Who is Crank Software and what is Storyboard?"

    A revolution in embedded GUI design and development (video)

     

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    2 min read

    Crank Software launches a new brand identity to power up UIs for embedded device manufacturers

    By Jason Clarke on May 21, 2019 9:47:29 AM

    Ottawa, Canada - Monday, May 20, 2019 - Crank Software, an innovator in embedded user interface (UI) software and solutions, announced today the launch of a new brand identity. The move reinforces the company’s position as a dominant market leader in the embedded UI industry with a unique value proposition: to deliver brilliant touch screen experiences on an accelerated schedule, yet with a fraction of the resources typically required.

    In Q1 of 2019, the company announced it had closed its highest quarter to date, on top of having seen an increase in 50% revenue growth the year prior. With an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies such as GE Appliances and Coca Cola taking their products to market with Storyboard-created UIs, Crank Software is enabling embedded device manufacturers to deliver immersive, digital displays at an unprecedented rate.

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    1 min read

    Webinar: How to design rich UIs on resource-constrained platforms (feat. NXP i.MX RT1060)

    By Alecia O'Brien on May 8, 2019 9:05:00 AM

    NXP and Crank Software are teaming up again for the second webinar in our 2-part series on embedded UI development for the industry's first crossover processor series - the i.MX RT Series.

    How to build your next supercharged embedded UI on the i.MX RT1060 (live demo)

    • Thursday, May 23
    • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
    • Hosted by NXP and Crank Software
    • Register here

    Crank's upcoming release (ssssh!!) features Storyboard Lite, which has been designed specifically to support the convergence of low-power applications processors and high-performance microcontrollers, such as the RT Series. A memory footprint reduced version of Storyboard, Storyboard Lite enables the creation of highly responsive GUIs on resource-constrained (memory and flash limited) embedded target hardware platforms.

    If you're looking to embrace growing consumer demand for enhanced user experience in smart, yet secure high-performance products, and support next generation IoT applications, then this webinar demonstration should definitely be on your calendar!

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    3 min read

    The need for screen: Innovation in embedded GUI development

    By Jason Clarke on May 6, 2019 11:39:05 AM

    Back in 2000 when LG introduced the world’s first Internet-enabled fridge, it came with an electronic pen, data memo, video messaging, and scheduler, all made accessible through an LCD “information window”.

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    1 min read

    Webinar: How to optimize your embedded UI for mass production

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 9, 2019 8:15:00 AM

    In the graphics world, much attention is always paid to the biggest and fastest Microprocessor (MPU) and Graphics Processor (GPU), but this is not always where the innovation is happening. Since Crank Storyboard is providing UI solutions on both Microcontrollers (MCU) and MPUs we have been seeing some of the fastest movement and excitement is on the new class of ARM M7 MCUs. NXP is one of the leaders in this area with their i.MX RT line of M7 MCUs that they are calling the “Crossover Processor”.

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    1 min read

    Video: ST and Crank Software partner for the STM32MP1

    By Jason Clarke on Mar 8, 2019 1:51:34 PM

    Crank was honored to showcase Storyboard's capabilities for STM32 platforms in the ST booth at Embedded World in Germany. For those of you who weren't able to join us, check out this video filmed at the show for a front row seat to all the excitement surrounding ST's new STM32MP1 microprocessor.

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    1 min read

    Fast embedded GUI development for the STM32MP1 Microprocessor

    By Jennie on Feb 25, 2019 12:28:00 PM

    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.

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    3 min read

    See the latest in embedded GUI design at Embedded World

    By Jennie on Feb 19, 2019 4:53:59 PM

    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.

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    2 min read

    Crank Software embedded GUI development at CES

    By Jennie on Jan 3, 2019 10:34:24 AM

    With the holiday season now in our rearview mirror, it's time for what many technology lovers consider the most wonderful time of the year. That's right, it's time to get your geek on at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Vegas! And speaking of geeks, we are sending a couple of Crank's finest.

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    3 min read

    Reimagining embedded UI design at the smart kitchen summit

    By Jennie on Nov 8, 2018 11:28:00 AM

    ***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.***

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    2 min read

    Visit Crank Software at the American Medical Device Summit

    By Jennie on Oct 23, 2018 8:54:00 AM

    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!

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    1 min read

    Baking up hot embedded UIs at the Smart Kitchen Summit

    By Jennie on Oct 2, 2018 2:14:23 PM

    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.

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    2 min read

    Developing beautiful embedded UI graphics for the NXP i.MX RT1060

    By Jennie on Sep 6, 2018 2:10:00 PM

    *** This post was written in collaboration with Garry, our delightful UK Field Application Engineer. Garry visited the new Crank headquarters this week and, being a team player, he grabbed a baseball glove and helped the Crank softball team (nearly) win a game in the local high-tech league! ***

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    2 min read

    Developing rich embedded GUIs for Boundary Devices Nitrogen platforms

    By Jennie on Aug 8, 2018 10:03:00 AM

    Boundary Devices has an array of Single Board Computers (SBC) that leverage NXP i.MX applications processors for developing rich, high-performance embedded products.

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    1 min read

    Developing brilliant embedded UIs for the i.MX RT1050

    By Jennie on Aug 2, 2018 3:50:00 PM

    Late last year, NXP announced the i.MX RT Series, a crossover processor that is optimized for low power and high performance. Built for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and lower power usage, the i.MX RT Series doesn't compromise on what's important to end users; high-performance, usability, advanced multimedia, and impressive graphics. This series fills a gap and hits a sweet spot that offers the best of both the MCU and application processor worlds to provide an excellent platform option for medical, IoT, building/home automation, and smart appliance applications.

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    2 min read

    Crank Software is moving!

    By Jennie on Jul 19, 2018 12:31:03 PM

    It was inevitable. Eventually, just about every successful company has to take the leap and uproot and move its office. For a growing company like ours, moving to a bigger office space is almost a rite of passage and is a commitment to our employees, partners, and customers that Crank's story is evolving and our future is bright. Our new office has space for us to double in size, and we plan to make full use of that.

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    3 min read

    The latest in embedded GUI development with Storyboard 5.3

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 9, 2018 12:58:00 PM


    Here at Crank, we update and release Storyboard on a regular cadence. We generally have a major feature release followed by a maintenance/refinement release. This release strategy helps us balance the need to deliver new functionality with ensuring we get a chance to refine usability and reduce technical debt as the product evolves.

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    1 min read

    Visit us at NXP Connects Santa Clara

    By Jennie on Jun 12, 2018 3:53:00 PM

    Crank Software is proud to be a sponsor at NXP Connects Santa Clara, June 13-14. With a wide range of technical sessions, hands-on labs, and networking opportunities, NXP Connects provides a great opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in IoT solutions, automotive technologies, and more.

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    1 min read

    Creating innovative user experiences for VxWorks platforms

    By Jennie on Jun 8, 2018 9:02:00 AM

    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 applications to market.

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    3 min read

    Why bad UI design happens to good people

    By Jennie on May 24, 2018 3:31:00 PM

    Today's guest blog post is by one of our UI designers, Ahren. Ahren recently experienced a world of frustration trying to use a self-checkout kiosk. What should be a simple interaction turned out to be unnecessarily frustrating due to some small, but major, problems. So I asked him to write about it.

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    1 min read

    Tutorial : Defining and Testing UI Communication

    By Jennie on May 23, 2018 2:45:00 PM

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    1 min read

    Crank Software earns John Deere Supplier Innovation award

    By Jennie on May 14, 2018 1:18:00 PM

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    2 min read

    Embrace design change with UI resizing and rebranding

    By Jennie on Mar 29, 2018 10:15:00 AM

    The following is a post from Fancy Dan, one of our creative and talented in-house designers. Dan uses Storyboard Suite on a daily basis to create awesome user experiences for embedded applications. He's also the dulcet voice behind our Storyboard videos.

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    1 min read

    Innovation in HMI at Embedded World

    By Jennie on Mar 14, 2018 9:30:00 AM

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    3 min read

    Visit Crank Software at Embedded World 2018

    By Jennie on Feb 21, 2018 3:11:41 PM

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    2 min read

    Kickstart embedded UI development with Photoshop artboards

    By Jennie on Feb 1, 2018 3:33:00 PM

    The following is a post from Fancy Dan, one of our creative and talented in-house designers. Dan uses Storyboard Suite on a daily basis to create awesome user experiences for embedded applications. He also test-drives all of our new features, like this one!

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    2 min read

    On-demand webinar: Creating stunning UIs for MCUs

    By Jennie on Jan 30, 2018 11:25:00 AM

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    2 min read

    Get started with embedded UI development

    By Jennie on Dec 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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    1 min read

    Developing embedded applications for uClinux platforms

    By Jennie on Dec 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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    2 min read

    Meet Crank Software at the Embedded Systems Conference

    By Jennie on Nov 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

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    2 min read

    Bringing Sketch designs to Storyboard

    By Jennie on Nov 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

    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.

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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard applications on the NXP i.MX RT 1050

    By Jennie on Nov 1, 2017 2:34:50 PM

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    3 min read

    Creating a medical HMI with Storyboard

    By Jennie on Sep 29, 2017 2:15:00 PM

    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.

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    3 min read

    Storyboard accelerates UI performance on the Renesas RZ/A1

    By Jennie on Sep 18, 2017 1:29:28 PM

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    1 min read

    Try it now! Storyboard demo image for the Renesas RZA1

    By Jennie on Aug 31, 2017 3:30:00 PM

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    2 min read

    Build better embedded UIs. Meet the new Storyboard 5.1.

    By Jennie on Aug 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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    1 min read

    See us at Microchip MASTERs in Phoenix

    By Jennie on Aug 14, 2017 9:30:00 AM

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    1 min read

    Try it now! Storyboard demo image for Microchip SAMA5D4

    By Jennie on Aug 11, 2017 10:10:00 AM

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    1 min read

    Try it now: BeagleBone Black demo image

    By Jennie on Aug 2, 2017 3:30:00 PM

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    6 min read

    The future of UI design for embedded systems

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 20, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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    4 min read

    The perks of UI design and development in Storyboard

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 14, 2017 11:45:00 AM

    The following is a post from Vanessa, one of our multi-talented and insanely busy in-house Storyboard application developers. Vanessa uses Storyboard Engine, Storyboard IO, Adobe Photoshop, and many other tools to bring custom UI applications to life for many of our major customers.

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    3 min read

    Supporting UI scalability: From MCU to 3D MPU

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 6, 2017 4:04:00 PM

    We are often asked the question, “what platforms do you support?” or variations on the same that include operating systems, GPUs, rendering technologies, and more. Development teams want to know if Storyboard supports the environments they have, or want to build out.

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    2 min read

    Thanks NXPconnects!

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 26, 2017 1:00:00 PM

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    2 min read

    Thanks TU Detroit!

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 13, 2017 4:30:00 PM

    At any given moment last week, the more than 3000 attendees at TU Detroit were talking about autonomous vehicles, safety, and cybersecurity, while in our booth, we spoke to many automotive design and development leaders who wanted to bring it all together within rich, engaging HMIs.

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    2 min read

    See us at NXP FTF Connects in San Jose

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 7, 2017 3:07:25 PM

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    1 min read

    Visit us at TU-Automotive Detroit next week

    By Jason Clarke on May 31, 2017 4:00:00 PM

    TU-Automotive Detroit is only a week away (June 7-8, in Novi, MI), and we're busy finalizing, flashing, and packing some really cool demos for you to see. To witness the latest in automotive HMI development, including the only platform that lets designers and developers work side-by-side, drop by booth C240 for a chat.

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    2 min read

    Webinar: A better way to build UIs with Embedded Artists

    By Jason Clarke on May 24, 2017 11:45:00 AM

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    8 min read

    Crank Storyboard vs. Qt: Which software is better for embedded GUI design and development? PART 2

    By Jason Clarke on May 15, 2017 1:15:00 PM

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    6 min read

    5 capabilities that entrench embedded UI designers

    By Jennie on May 8, 2017 10:30:00 AM

    The following is a post from Fancy Dan, one of our creative and talented in-house designers. Dan uses Storyboard Suite on a daily basis to create awesome user experiences for embedded applications. I asked him to share the top 5 features that make his job easier and his designs awesome.

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    6 min read

    Crank Storyboard vs. Qt: Which software is better for embedded GUI design and development?

    By Jason Clarke on May 1, 2017 9:30:00 AM

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    1 min read

    See scalable Storyboard UI demos on the Microchip SAMA5D2

    By Jennie on Apr 19, 2017 9:45:00 AM

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    2 min read

    Webinar: Bringing UIs to life with Crank + Toradex

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 6, 2017 9:45:00 AM

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    1 min read

    Try it now: NXP i.MX 6ULL demo image

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 3, 2017 1:35:00 PM

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    4 min read

    What's in the Crank Booth? Embedded World 2017

    By Jennie on Mar 23, 2017 9:57:43 AM

     

    Crank Software Inc - Team at Embedded World 2017
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    3 min read

    Advancing Embedded UI Development with Storyboard 5.0

    By Jennie on Mar 14, 2017 1:55:45 PM

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    3 min read

    Meet the New Storyboard Suite at Embedded World 2017

    By Jennie on Mar 8, 2017 8:22:07 AM

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    3 min read

    Crank Storyboard Automotive HMI design for NXP at CES

    By Jennie on Jan 24, 2017 1:50:48 PM

    Whether it's commuting to and from work, chauffeuring the kids to hockey*, or running errands, we spend countless hours driving on a daily basis. Fortunately for those of us who feel like we live part-time in our cars, technology is evolving at a rapid rate to enhance the driving experience and to allow us to connect with our vehicles more seamlessly and safely.

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    1 min read

    See User Interface demos on your Hardware with Storyboard Demo Images

    By Jennie on Dec 28, 2016 11:41:24 AM

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    2 min read

    Adding 3D to UIs: Importing FBX models into Storyboard

    By Jennie on Oct 6, 2016 2:40:03 PM

    3D elements add movement, dimension, and life to embedded applications. Aesthetics aside, they also enhance user experience and improve findability of information with a visual perspective that 2D graphics lack. As processors and GPUs evolve, embedded applications are becoming richer and 3D content more prevalent.

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    2 min read

    Build GUIs your Customers Want to Touch

    By Jennie on Jul 13, 2016 4:51:42 PM

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    3 min read

    Experience Storyboard GUI Demos at NXP FTF Tech Forum

    By Jennie on May 10, 2016 2:47:43 PM

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    1 min read

    Storyboard Suite HMI Demos at Car HMI USA 2016

    By Jennie on Apr 21, 2016 12:38:42 PM

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    1 min read

    HMI Design with Storyboard Suite for Renesas RZ/G Series

    By Jennie on Apr 20, 2016 3:35:45 PM

     

    We create a lot of demo applications to show the scalability of embedded GUIs designed and developed with Storyboard Suite.

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    2 min read

    Webinars: Storyboard Suite for Embedded GUI Development

    By Jennie on Apr 18, 2016 8:30:37 AM

    We've always worked hard to deliver videos that showcase Storyboard Suite features, teach tips & tricks, and provide a more in-depth look at technical functionality. Video gives us an opportunity to visually showcase Storyboard, rather than just talk about it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million? My math might be a bit off, so don't quote me on that.

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    4 min read

    Crank Software at Embedded World 2016 - Day 1

    By Jennie on Feb 23, 2016 6:06:14 PM

    Hello from Nuremberg, Germany!

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    3 min read

    Storyboard Suite embedded GUI demos at Embedded World

    By Jennie on Feb 4, 2016 7:00:05 AM

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    4 min read

    Storyboard Suite HMI Round-up from CES 2016

    By Jennie on Jan 18, 2016 10:44:01 AM

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite GUIs at CES 2016

    By Jennie on Dec 30, 2015 9:00:53 AM

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    2 min read

    Using Storyboard IO to connect the Storyboard GUI to a Device

    By Jennie on Dec 15, 2015 7:00:06 AM

    ***Updated with new Storyboard IO feature video and tutorial below***

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    2 min read

    Webinar: Better GUI Design with Storyboard Suite 4.x

    By Jennie on Oct 16, 2015 4:48:49 PM

    ***Now available On-Demand!***

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    2 min read

    Supporting Collaborative GUI Design with Storyboard Suite

    By Jennie on Sep 29, 2015 1:34:29 PM

    Embedded application projects usually involve a team of people, rather than a solitary jack-of-all-trades super designer* seeing an entire project through to completion. With traditional linear methodologies taking a backseat to more agile and lean models, features and functionality are often developed in parallel, rather than in an assembly line fashion. While having a team of designers and developers has many advantages, including making it easier to hit tight deadlines, having multiple hands in the files introduces technical complexities.

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    1 min read

    Free Storyboard Suite licenses for GUI Design for students

    By Jennie on Sep 18, 2015 2:48:03 PM

    Here at Crank, we dream of a universe full of awesome application GUIs. Where students - brimming with innovative ideas and bursting with creativity - aren't limited by lackluster software tools. We want all designers, regardless of where they are in their careers, to have the best tools possible to help them bring their ideas to life.

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    2 min read

    Creating GUIs for the Connected Home with Storyboard Suite and Freescale

    By Jennie on Jul 30, 2015 2:39:13 PM

    This past Spring Crank Software participated in a project with Freescale (and other fine Freescale partners) to deliver the ultimate connected home experience at Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) 2015.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard Suite Embedded Application GUIs at FTF 2015

    By Jennie on Jul 7, 2015 2:28:37 PM

    While we were at Freescale Technology 2015, we shared several photos of the various Storyboard Suite embedded application GUI demos. We also posted a (very) quick look at an IoT demo designed with Storyboard Suite for a connected home.

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite 4.1. Built by GUI Designers-for GUI Designers

    By Jennie on Jul 3, 2015 10:16:15 AM

    Earlier this year we announced the release of Storyboard Suite 4.0, giving embedded GUI design and development teams an easier and faster way to get their applications to market. 4.0 focused heavily on streamlining the design experience and supporting collaborative team development, with enhancements like multiple application design file support, model comparison and merge streamlining, support for 9-patch images, Lua Editor updates to increase productivity and make debugging easier, support for scrolling layers and circles and arc render extensions, and more!

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    2 min read

    From FTF 2015: Storyboard Suite IoT GUI Demos

    By Jennie on Jun 24, 2015 4:01:29 PM

    Hello from Austin!

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    2 min read

    Embedded GUI Demos and Sessions at FTF

    By Jennie on Jun 17, 2015 1:43:23 PM

    FTF (Freescale Technology Forum) 2015 is next week in Austin, Texas, June 22-25, and we are gearing up for another awesome show. We will be busy this year with presenting a lecture and running a hands-on lab, as well as demoing GUIs and Storyboard Suite at the exhibition. If you are going to the show, here's what you can expect to see:

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite for Innovative Home Automation GUIs

    By Jennie on Jun 8, 2015 5:30:45 AM

    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.

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    2 min read

    HMI demos and Storyboard Suite at TU-Automotive Detroit 2015

    By Jennie on May 27, 2015 4:19:21 PM

    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!

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    1 min read

    GUI Design with Storyboard Suite for the Renesas RZ/A1

    By Jennie on May 22, 2015 10:16:44 AM

    It's Demo Friday! Ok, that's probably not a thing but it is Friday and we've got a new demo for you. Today's demo further showcases the scalability of GUI design with Storyboard Suite.

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    2 min read

    Crank at Automotive Cockpit HMI USA 2015

    By Jennie on May 14, 2015 10:56:59 PM

    It's nearly mid-May which means a couple of things:

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    1 min read

    GUI Design is Rapid and Scalable with Crank Storyboard Suite

    By Jennie on Mar 30, 2015 2:47:56 PM

    As we create multi-market demo applications here at Crank, we like to deploy them across multiple hardware platforms to fully test their look and feel. This helps us ensure that the GUI design we've created performs and looks as intended, and it also helps us validate the scalability of Storyboard Suite across different platforms.

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    1 min read

    3 GUI Design Changes Affecting Process and End Product

    By Jennie on Mar 22, 2015 10:25:57 PM

    GUI 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.

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    1 min read

    Crank GUI software is everywhere at Embedded World 2015

    By Jennie on Feb 26, 2015 4:49:15 AM

    Day 2 kept us busy in the booth with a lot of people coming to check out the GUI software demos on our partner's hardware and Storyboard Suite demos.

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    2 min read

    Embedded World Day 1 - The GUI of Things

    By Jennie on Feb 25, 2015 4:16:01 AM

    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.)

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite UI demos at embedded world 2015

    By Jennie on Feb 10, 2015 3:02:54 PM

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    1 min read

    Storyboard driving TI's ADAS Cluster on Jacinto 6

    By Jason Clarke on Jan 28, 2015 3:43:30 PM

    If you were at TI Village at CES this year you might have seen the digital automotive cockpit demo featuring Storyboard Suite. If not, be sure to check out this quick video from Texas Instruments. This innovative demo showcases an automotive cluster and HUD featuring UIs built with Storyboard and driven by TI's Jacinto 6 processor.

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    2 min read

    9-patch allows creation of graphic images with scalability

    By Jennie on Jan 22, 2015 3:49:36 PM

    Application design usually means working with an abundance of graphics, and when designing applications for multiple screen sizes, designers have to keep in mind how those images will scale when deployed across different resolutions and aspect ratios. A button that looks great on one screen might have awkward corners or warped text when scaled to fit a screen of a different size. To avoid this, designers often create multiple versions of their graphics in various sizes. While this allows for tight control over the visual presentation of the graphics, it also means extra time, effort, and resources.

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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard Suite application demo on STM32F429 MCU

    By Jennie on Jan 8, 2015 12:43:59 PM

    Lately we've been busy crankin' out demo videos to show off Storyboard Suite on a variety of MCUs/MPUs and Operating Systems. The tool to design and develop the UIs behind these embedded application demos--Storyboard Suite--stay the same, but the variety of hardware used for deployment speaks to the reach of our supported targets.

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    2 min read

    Spot the Storyboard Suite UIs at CES

    By Jennie on Dec 24, 2014 10:12:43 AM

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite + JSON deliver rich data to embedded UIs

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 15, 2014 11:27:24 AM

    Communicating between a Storyboard application and external sources is straightforward and flexible. Storyboard provides a number of connectivity options ranging from its native SBIO API for system engineers, to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) for more web-centric programmers.

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    1 min read

    Mississippi State University chooses Storyboard to deliver award-winning in-car HMI

    By Jennie on Nov 26, 2014 11:21:19 AM

    When we learned that Mississippi State University (MSU) was evaluating Storyboard Suite to design and develop a fully integrated center stack in the EcoCAR 2 competition, we were thrilled to support them in such an exciting and innovative project. The EcoCAR series is a Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition that provides university students hands-on experience with completely overhauling a vehicle to reduce its environmental impact, while retaining or enhancing its functionality and performance. As part of the challenge, the rising stars behind tomorrow's technologically savvy vehicles were also tasked with developing a new media-rich center stack unit. In-car Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are becoming increasing common and evolving rapidly, both from a technology and design standpoint. The best HMIs enhance, not disrupt, driver experience and are intuitive and attractive from a design standpoint. It was exciting for Crank to see MSU tackle this challenge with enthusiasm and a keen design eye, and to be part of the future of in-car HMI design.

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite for GUI design

    By Jennie on Nov 10, 2014 4:27:32 PM

    Here at Crank we spend countless hours developing new features for GUI designers, making new demos and tutorials to educate users, and working with customers to deliver custom services and support. Because we live and breathe our own tools on a daily basis, it gives us pause when someone asks us, "What IS Storyboard anyway?" We've created mounds of content showcasing Storyboard features and demos of them in action, but perhaps we need to pull out of the weeds a bit to give a high level view of what Storyboard is, who it benefits, and why you should get it for everyone on your gift list this year.

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    1 min read

    Jade IdeaBoxx by featuring Crank: Fast-tracking GUI design

    By Jennie on Nov 5, 2014 4:14:02 PM

    Imagine you're a designer of graphical interfaces (GUIs) for embedded devices. If you are reading this blog, you likely resemble this. Now, picture receiving a box that contains everything you need to realize the dream of getting a functioning prototype of your designs up and running in minutes--on a real device, not your desktop. Pretty awesome picture, right?

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    1 min read

    Storyboard for IoT: A tool for everyone in your organization

    By Jennie on Oct 29, 2014 10:46:45 AM

    In most companies, a developer's time and skill is in high demand, and when we are prototyping UIs for embedded devices we don't always want to engage a developer's deep technical expertise. Unfortunately though, many UI development tools require a high level of technical prowess, leaving designers and marketers reliant on a developer's schedule and skill set.

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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard GUI on the Atmel SAMA5D4

    By Jennie on Oct 1, 2014 7:16:41 PM

    We've been working on some demos lately to showcase the versatility in the type of applications you can build with Crank Storyboard Suite. You've probably seen applications built with Storyboard for Automotive and you know that you can use Storyboard to build application GUIs for Industrial and Medical.

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    1 min read

    Crank and Renesas partner to deliver better HMI development

    By Jennie on Oct 1, 2014 5:31:05 PM

    Crank Software and Renesas Electronics America announced today a collaboration to deliver an enhanced experience for HMI application development on Linux. Crank Storyboard Suite provides developers of user interfaces for embedded devices the tools to design, develop, and deploy applications with speed and ease, and Renesas provides the high-speed, high-performance RZ/A microprocessor for the target hardware. Together, Crank and Renesas deliver an impressive solution for efficiently developing fast, beautiful HMI-based applications for Linux systems. Check out the demo to see multiple applications built with Storyboard and deployed to the Renesas RZ/A. If you happen to find yourself at ARM TechCon 2014 from October 1-3, visit the Renesas booth (1114) to learn more about Crank Storyboard™ Suite technology running on the Renesas RZ/A. 

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    9 min read

    Storyboard Tutorial: User Interface Table Variables

    By jwarren on Sep 24, 2014 3:59:36 PM

    Sometimes the best way to display data in Storyboard is with tables and table variables. Tables, as well as cells within the table, are able to contain several render extensions aka user interface table variables. This allows them to behave dynamically and perform a wide variety of tasks. In our last tutorial, we walked through a simple introduction to creating tables in Storyboard. In this tutorial, we are going to go a little deeper and venture into table variables.

    Prerequisite

    Before getting started, download the example that we've started for you and import it into Storyboard. You should see something that looks like this:

     

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    4 min read

    Storyboard - Adding Tables to your Application User Interface (UI)

    By jwarren on Sep 12, 2014 2:44:22 PM

    Today, we are going back to basics in this Storyboard user interface (UI) tutorial. Table basics. Tables are a special control in Storyboard. While most controls are individual, tables are more like containers that organize several controls inside them. This tutorial will walk you through how to create a very simple table, add background colour, adjust basic settings, and add render extensions. Before we get started building our table, create a new application in Storyboard Designer.

    Add a background colour for the application's UI

    First we're going to add a background to our application.

    1. Right-click on Screen1
    2. Select Add
    3. Select Control
    4. Give your new control a name
    5. In the Render Extensions list, select Fill
    6. Select Finish

    You will be asked to select a colour for your background. For the purposes of this tutorial, let's select white.

     

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    1 min read

    Tips for importing Photoshop PSD files to Crank Storyboard

    By Jennie on Aug 1, 2014 1:42:40 PM

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    1 min read

    From Photoshop PSD to iOS application

    By Jennie on Jul 7, 2014 2:52:35 PM

    The best tool for any job is the one that allows you to work most efficiently and effectively, and when it comes to creating stunning graphics and interfaces, Photoshop is the design tool of choice for many user interface (UI) designers.

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    1 min read

    Automotive UI Development using Storyboard Suite at Car HMi 2014

    By Jennie on Jun 20, 2014 3:12:52 PM


    Cars driving by themselves. In-car gaming and entertainment while avoiding distraction. Voice recognition to allow us to have conversations with our cars about route navigation and weather. Mobile device integration with car systems.

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    2 min read

    Storyboard Suite showcased at event on UI for Automotive

    By Jennie on Jun 4, 2014 1:02:27 PM

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    2 min read

    Start your Embedded Engine with Storyboard Suite 3.2.1

    By Jennie on Jun 2, 2014 9:55:22 AM

    Our Storyboard Suite 3.2 release last year was packed full of new features for the design, embedded engine and browser. Now that it has been "in the wild" for 6 months and customers have been using it to create user interfaces (UI) for their embedded applications, we've been getting great feedback about which features users love, which ones could benefit from a little refinement, and which new features would be helpful to respond to embedded UI design pain points. We value the comments and questions we get from our customers, because it provides us an opportunity to make Storyboard better and to constantly fine tune the experience of building UIs for embedded applications.

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    2 min read

    Crank website showcases Storyboard Suite embedded GUI tool

    By Jennie on May 23, 2014 2:58:22 PM

    Why yes! We DID get a new look for Spring 2014. Thanks for noticing!

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    2 min read

    Iterative User Interface Design with Photoshop Re-Import

    By Jennie on Apr 23, 2014 11:20:37 PM

    “We nailed the UI design in one take!”
    Said no user interface design team. Ever. Nor should they. Design takes time.

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    1 min read

    Crank Interview from Day 1 at Freescale Technology Forum

    By Jennie on Apr 9, 2014 5:03:20 PM

    Day 1 at FTF2014 was busy. Busy, but great.

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    1 min read

    Crank Software off to Freescale Technology Forum 2014 - April 8-11

    By Jennie on Apr 1, 2014 3:22:03 PM

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    1 min read

    RTC Magazine Article: Speeding Time to Market for GUI Designs

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 17, 2014 3:32:05 PM

    Crank recently contributed an article to RTC Magazine about how to reduce time requirements and improve the process of bringing an embedded UI to market.

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    3 min read

    Hitting up Embedded World 2014 – Crank Style

    By Jennie on Feb 18, 2014 8:49:20 PM

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    2 min read

    Storyboard and Qt integration

    By Brian Edmond on Jan 24, 2014 10:23:43 AM

    Storyboard was created to be a portable and platform agnostic solution.  This allows us to give the same experience across Linux, QNX, Green Hills and so on.  We often get asked how we deal with or compete with Qt.  We see Qt as a platform abstraction layer like all of our other systems, it just happens to have an optional graphics component.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard Suite @ CES 2014

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jan 7, 2014 3:49:44 PM

    Happy New Year!

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    1 min read

    Storyboard supports Green Hills INTEGRITY

    By Brian Edmond on Jan 3, 2014 4:10:43 PM

    Crank is always improving and expanding its support for platforms and operating systems. The most recent of these is support for Green Hills INTEGRITY. We recently had the chance to work on this port for the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas. You can check out our cluster demo in the Green Hills suite.

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    1 min read

    Crank Software Named Freescale Proven Partner for Making Graphical UI Development Easy with Storyboard Suite

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 19, 2013 11:57:09 AM

    Crank Software announced today that it has been named a Proven Partner in the Freescale® Semiconductor Connect partner program. Crank Software develops Storyboard Suite, a turnkey UI development software that makes it easy for i.MX users to build graphical UIs and ultimately get their products to market faster.

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    1 min read

    Crank Software Releases Storyboard Suite 3.2

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 20, 2013 11:01:27 AM

    Crank Software is excited to announce the release of Storyboard Suite 3.2 today!

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    1 min read

    UI Developers Can Deliver In-Browser HTML5 Content Easily With New WebKit Engine

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 23, 2013 3:13:50 PM

    Ottawa, October 23, 2013

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    Crank Software WebKit Chosen to Power Nintendo Web Framework

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 2, 2013 4:42:14 PM

    Ottawa, On. – October 2, 2013 – Crank Software, an innovator in embedded user interface (UI) solutions, announced today that Crank Software has been selected by Nintendo to provide the WebKit technology that powers the Nintendo Web Framework. With Crank Software’s WebKit, web developers, in addition to traditional developers, can now use the Nintendo Web Framework to develop their newest games and applications on the Wii U system with the best technologies possible – including HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. In a recent analyst briefing, Nintendo stated that there has been tremendous interest in the new Nintendo Web Framework development environment. Read More >>

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    1 min read

    Crank Software @ TI TECH Days Detroit, MI, September 26

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 23, 2013 1:50:27 PM

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    1 min read

    Automated Testing at Crank!

    By Rodney Dowdall on Sep 17, 2013 2:58:57 PM

    Here at Crank Software, we are continuously updating Storyboard in order to deliver a better experience for our customers every day. In preparation for the upcoming Storyboard 3.2 release, new features are being added all the time and the Storyboard Engine has to be tested against all our supported platforms to make sure that the latest changes don’t regress existing behaviour.

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    1 min read

    UI development support software accelerates the development process

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Aug 22, 2013 3:00:48 PM

    Embedded UI development teams often struggle with communication barriers, lack of visibility, and siloed workflows throughout the development process. This typically results in extended development timelines and overstretched budgets. However, UI development support software can help teams overcome these hurdles.

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    1 min read

    Time for a new UI programming paradigm

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Aug 7, 2013 10:50:18 AM

    WITH THE UBIQUITOUS usage of smartphones, tablets, and other mainstream screens, traditional products that once had analog displays are now being modernized with digital user interfaces (UI). From thermometers to air conditioning control panels to car dashboards, even the simplest and smallest embedded devices often feature graphical user interfaces (GUls). Therefore, manufacturers are focused on delivering quality electronic products with intuitive, easy-to-operate Uls - all without slowing down the development process.

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    Exporting a Storyboard Application for iOS

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Aug 6, 2013 2:42:12 PM

    With Storyboard 3.0 and above, developers now have the option to export their Storyboard application to iOS. Click on the video below to see the easy steps involved with exporting to an iOS device.

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    1 min read

    Importing a Storyboard Project

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Aug 1, 2013 3:43:19 PM

    Here are a couple of easy steps to import a Storyboard Project Archive into Storyboard Designer.

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    1 min read

    Exporting a Storyboard Project

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jul 26, 2013 11:43:39 AM

    Storyboard Designer gives you the ability to export your project for either archiving, sharing or demo purposes. Here are a couple of easy steps showing you how to do that.

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    Building a Storyboard Application – Video #4 – Internationalization

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 26, 2013 11:16:08 AM

    Dan has kicked into high gear and has video #4 in the Building a Storyboard Application video series up and ready. This video takes users through a small example of how to use variables in Storyboard to load new languages into the application.

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    1 min read

    Building a Storyboard Application – Video #3 - Lua Scripting

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 22, 2013 11:10:14 AM

    Video #3 in our Building a Storyboard Application series is now up and does a great walk through on how you leverage Lua scripting in your application. Lua is a great scripting language for embedded applications with it's ease of use, awesome performance and ability to be extended. If you haven't used Lua before be sure to check it out.

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    1 min read

    Building a Storyboard Application - Video #2 - Animations

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 2, 2013 2:23:53 PM

    This is the second video in our "Building a Storyboard Application" series. If you missed the first video you can watch it here.

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    1 min read

    Telematics Update Detroit

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 28, 2013 11:43:19 AM

    Earlier this month Crank Software was at the Telematics Update conference in Detroit and got stopped for this quick interview :

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Popularity of JavaScript is rising

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 11, 2013 10:50:27 AM

    The Tiobe Programming Community Index rankings show that JavaScript's popularity as a programming language is on the rise. It has recently risen in to the top 10 of popular programming languages based on searches on the web. This article outlines the top 10 languages and goes over how the chart is tabulated.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    3 min read

    Should a proven UI be updated?

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 2, 2013 11:56:51 PM

    I was reading some articles concerning the up and coming release of Windows 8.1 and the much heralded return of the start menu button. It would appear that Microsoft has heard the complaints of it's users and now wants to backtrack on the decision to remove the button, and push that functionality back in to the next release of Windows. This got me thinking, why did they remove the button in the first place? Why did they feel this was a good decision at all?

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Flat UI design the new normal

    By Rodney Dowdall on May 25, 2013 9:07:33 AM

    Wired has posted an article concerning a recent shift in UI design. Most of the UI's that are designed for devices nowadays are flat. The 3D effect, shadows, and gradients that used to commonplace in most of the UI's beforehand have now disappeared for a cleaner minimalist design.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Storyboard on stage at Blackberry Live

    By Jason Clarke on May 19, 2013 9:30:42 PM

    Blackberry's CEO, Thorsten Heins, showed off the QNX Bentley and Storyboard during his keynote at Blackberry Live this past week.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Storyboard RCP Stands Alone

    By Rodney Dowdall on May 6, 2013 4:31:22 PM

    Tasked with spearheading a new branch of Storyboard development, my objective was to shed the baggage of an IDE dependent set of plugins and move towards the development of an application born for the sole purpose of Storyboard project creation. At the same time, we wanted to migrate from the 3.x framework to the newer 4.x version, all the while using a new system to build and package (Tycho).

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    On Creating a Common Layered Image Format ...

    By Thomas Fletcher on May 1, 2013 12:05:27 PM

    An important functionality of Storyboard Designer is our ability to decompose a Photoshop PSD file into its various layer, group, image and text components and allow users to incorporate those elements directly into their embedded user interfaces.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES #6: Crank Software gears up for the automotive sector

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Apr 25, 2013 10:59:56 AM

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    1 min read

    Storyboard: The future is friendly!

    By Rodney Dowdall on Apr 24, 2013 9:56:52 PM

    A quick sneak preview of what's coming up in Storyboard Designer soon...
    Up until now, making any changes to your original Photoshop design and then applying those to your Storyboard application was a process which could take several hours and at least two cups of coffee. A new feature - Apply PSD - is currently in the works to help you accomplish this process in just a few minutes and reduce your caffeine intake!

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Building a Storyboard Application - Video Series

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 18, 2013 10:19:52 AM

    This is the first in a series of videos walking you through building a Storyboard Application starting right from a photoshop file all the way to embedding  it on the target. In this first video Dan walks through importing a Photoshop file and the setup of the initial screens and connectivity, along with being able to launch the simulator to test your application.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    FreeRTOS gets Storyboard

    By Brian Edmond on Apr 1, 2013 9:42:26 PM

    Recently we have been working on expanding Storyboard's support for smaller RTOS platforms. The latest addition is FreeRTOS. Storyboard brings a great development environment to smaller platforms allowing customers to develop and prototype the UI on their desktops and then seamlessly deploy to an RTOS target. We have been working with our friends at FDI on an NXP LPC1788 platform. Here is a quick video showing what is possible with Storyboard on these smaller platforms.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Storyboard on the Discovery Channel

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 25, 2013 8:42:20 AM

    Check out Storyboard in action in the QNX Bentley on the Discovery Channel.

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    2 min read

    Prototype FAST ... Storyboard is Lean UX

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 19, 2013 10:46:22 AM

    One site that I hit as part of my regular graphics/UI/UX reading is Smashing Magazine.  They are an invaluable resource for all aspects

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Simulink Driven Storyboard Input Simulation via Storyboard IO

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 5, 2013 1:25:03 PM

    Last week Crank was at Embedded World in Germany showing off the latest release of Storyboard Suite by showing deployed applications on a wide variety of operating system/hardware platforms:

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Embedded World Germany

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 4, 2013 10:50:55 AM

    I never did follow up with pictures of our finished booth at Embedded World. Do I have a good reason for not doing so? What kind of wicked excuse can I come up with ... I was kidnapped by << insert something witty here>>.

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    1 min read

    LEGO: A Perfect User Experience

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 4, 2013 10:23:38 AM

    I came across this post in UX Magazine on LEGO as a Near-Perfect User Experience, and it totally resonated with me ... and not just because I love LEGO.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    New Crank Booth at Embedded World

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Feb 25, 2013 4:42:45 PM

    Today was setup day at Embedded World and we finally got to see the new Crank booth live and it is looking good! All the demos arrived in one piece and setup was pretty uneventful.

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    1 min read

    Crankin' Embedded World Germany, February 26 - 28

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Feb 20, 2013 12:34:37 PM

    Crank Software will be at Embedded World Germany next week from February 26 - 28. We had so many interested attendees stop by the booth last year, that we quickly ran out of room during peak times. This year we have kicked it up a notch and now have a larger, stand-alone booth to both accommodate more prospects and to allow more room to showcase Storyboard Suite on multiple target platforms. We are extremely excited with the graphics that our Graphic Designer, a.k.a Fancy Dan, put together and can't wait to see the booth first hand. Stay tuned for some blog posts and pics live from the show floor next week.

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    2 min read

    Multi-Touch Gesture Plugin

    By Rodney Dowdall on Feb 19, 2013 9:16:28 AM

    Storyboard now has multi-touch events capable of handling all of your multi-touch needs. Featured as part of the gesture plugin, storyboard has the ability to track presses, motions, and releases, for up to 5 fingers at the same time.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    New Image Optimization Tools!

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jan 28, 2013 10:21:20 PM

    A quick overview of the new image optimization tools that come along with the release of Storyboard 3.0.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    QNX Concept Car walk through, starring Storyboard Suite 3.0

    By Jason Clarke on Jan 9, 2013 9:46:05 PM

    Take a look at the first video walk through of the QNX Bently from the good people at TI. Make sure to pay close attention at the 1:15 mark when Mark Rigley from QNX gives us a nice shout out.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard 3.0 shown in use by QNX CAR Bentley Concept HMI

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jan 8, 2013 12:55:35 PM

    Today the Crank team released the latest version of our embedded user interface and HMI framework Storyboard Suite: Storyboard 3.0.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    International CES, Las Vegas Nevada, January 8 - 11 2013

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jan 4, 2013 9:37:47 AM

    Crank Software Inc. will be on the show floor and showcasing Storyboard Suite in a large number of tier one company booths this year at CES. We would love to personally meet with you and discuss any existing or upcoming projects that you may have where Storyboard Suite would be a good fit. Send us an email and we will be in touch.

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    2 min read

    Storyboard now supports iOS

    By Rodney Dowdall on Dec 28, 2012 2:43:50 PM

    After being told I had the task of getting Storyboard to run on iOS I was excited about the opportunity to learn about the operating system and iOS app development. The process seemed simple in concept but ended up being far more complex than anticipated.

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    Wunderlist 2 debuts, ditches HTML5 for native apps on Android, Windows, iOS and Mac

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 19, 2012 8:46:14 AM

    Wunderlist is one of those apps that's beloved by productivity nerds, but not very well known outside of those circles. Part of the appeal came from its availability on almost every platform out there. To reach true OS agnosticism 6Wunderkinder, however, relied on HTML5 -- which makes porting an app easy, but comes with its own drawbacks, including lackluster performance. (Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.)

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    1 min read

    Segger embOS Support

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 18, 2012 10:40:12 AM

    Crank Software will be introducing support in Storyboard Suite 3.0 for non MMU targets by offering a runtime for Segger's embOS. New and existing Crank customers will now be able to use Storyboard Suite 3.0 as a single solution to support traditional 32 bit family processors and lower level non MMU platforms.

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    Upcoming Storyboard Suite 3.0 Release

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 7, 2012 11:26:41 AM

    Crank Storyboard™ Suite enables UI Designers and Embedded Developers with the ability to quickly prototype, develop and deploy rich animated user interfaces for embedded devices. The upcoming Storyboard™ Suite 3.0 release has a number of new and improved features including animation timeline, iOS support, custom shaders, internationalization, and image optimization just to name a few.

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    1 min read

    Windows 8 Review

    By Rodney Dowdall on Nov 26, 2012 11:49:18 PM

    Over the week-end I installed Windows 8 on my laptop.  For the most part it was a pleasant experience.  Setting it up  was quick and painless. For me, this is the first installation of Windows that felt new since Windows 95.  Most of the Windows versions since 95 have been the same implementation, with just some tweaks or superficial changes.  Windows 8 attempts to break the mold that it's predecessors created.  For proof of this look no further than the removal of the start button, the once iconic symbol of the Windows OS line.

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    Happy Thanksgiving!

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 22, 2012 1:39:24 PM

    Crank Software wants to wish all their American friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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    The Importance of Touch Screen Calibration

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 6, 2012 2:31:43 PM

    A Pennsylvania voting machine has been removed after it was found turning votes for President Obama into a vote for Romney.

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    Crank Demonstrating Segger Support at Renesas DevCon

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 22, 2012 11:00:18 AM

    Just a quick post to mention if anyone is in the Orange County area October 22 - 25th make sure to stop by Renesas DevCon and say hi to the Crank crew. Brian and Jake will be demonstrating Storyboard Embedded Engine running on the Segger embOS.

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    1 min read

    TI's Sitara™ AM335x ARM® Cortex™- A8 Starter Kit Includes Crank Storyboard Demo

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 15, 2012 10:38:20 AM

    Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) introduces the new $199 Sitara™ AM335x ARM® Cortex™-A8 Starter Kit with a 4.3-inch LCD display supporting rotation and tilt capabilities via the on-board accelerometer that provides an affordable platform for smart appliances, industrial automation and networking applications and other devices requiring a touch screen interface. The low-cost development platform, based on the Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor, integrates multiple communication options such as Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity for the creation of highly connected devices. READ MORE ...

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    3 min read

    Tips for Embedded User Interface Optimization

    By Thomas Fletcher on Sep 26, 2012 1:11:58 PM

    The title of this post might have read as "Storyboard will make your UI faster" but that seemed like something that people might already know, so I thought that it would be good to relay some additional advice about a few things you can do to help Storyboard get the most out of your graphics system.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Are you buying a new iPhone 5?

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 17, 2012 3:48:42 PM

    Many of you are aware that Apple held a press conference last week where they announced the new iPhone 5. If you didn't, you must be living in a cave in Siberia or something. The announcement wasn't mind blowing. There had been rumours circulating for a couple of weeks prior to the press conference which were pretty bang on. Besides being a little thinner, getting a larger display, and some hardware performance enhancements, the UI and functionality as a whole remained pretty much the same.

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    1 min read

    Remember the 'C's!

    By chris on Sep 4, 2012 10:01:14 AM

    I was playing with my wife's phone this weekend, trying to find some information and the subsequent aggravation got me thinking about 3 'C's which should really always be obeyed when designing a UI, all of which tie together pretty nicely.

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    1 min read

    Photoshop PSD to Android APK in minutes!

    By Jason Clarke on Aug 14, 2012 1:58:55 PM

    Most of the best looking UIs start in Photoshop and then are moved or rebuilt with a different tool or framework that requires the developer to spend countless hours trying to position and skin the underlying framework to look like the original PSD file. With Storyboard Suite we wanted to make his transition easier and faster, so we added the ability to easily import a PSD file and begin working immediately with all your graphics and layers already in place. This video does a quick walkthrough of how fast a user can move from a PSD file to an Android APK that is ready to run on their device.

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    1 min read

    Uniquely Identifying an Object

    By Rodney Dowdall on Aug 12, 2012 10:45:09 PM

    The comparison functionality in Storyboard will analyse two different model files and present the user with a list of differences between those Storyboard projects.  This is a useful functionality to have when you are trying to collaborate with multiple people on a project.  It can show you what your colleagues have changed and what you have changed, and allows you to bring those changes across as you need them.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    4 min read

    Using Storyboard for the First Time...

    By Dan Conroy on Jul 31, 2012 1:48:05 PM

    My background is in print design. If I could describe myself with software I'd say Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, before delving into programs I used less often like Dreamweaver, Flash and AfterEffects. So hooray for all those Adobe products, they are the tools of a graphic designer, but what to do about designing a functional app? How do you do that with Photoshop? You do not. This is the story of my first time using Storyboard Designer.

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    1 min read

    Generating Storyboard Runtime Tests

    By Matt Love on Jul 25, 2012 4:45:38 PM

    Here at Crank we were looking for new ways to create tests for our Designer and Runtime. In the past this consisted of creating hand edited gapp files to use along with our screen dump plugin to create a set of screen shots, which we would then compare to screen shots from past tests. However, editing those gapp files isn’t the best solution. So recently we started to create a new way to create these test gapp files within the Designer.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Bsquare Announces Worldwide Distribution Agreement for Crank Storyboard Suite

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jul 19, 2012 10:33:30 AM

    BSQUARE Corporation, a leading enabler of smart, connected devices today announced the Company finalized an agreement with Crank Software to provide worldwide distribution and support of Crank Storyboard Suite, a UI design solution for embedded devices. This latest addition to the broad Bsquare ecosystem expands the Company’s portfolio of development tools, enabling design and development on Windows, Apple Mac desktop, Embedded Linux and QNX environments.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard - Staying up to date

    By deric on Jul 13, 2012 3:07:19 PM

    At Crank we are constantly working to improve your Storyboard experience, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure you can get our latest software with the least amount of effort.  The release of Storyboard 2.0 included functionality to allow us to push both Storyboard Designer and Runtime updates automatically.  You may have noticed recently when starting Storyboard a small dialogue box appearing informing you of a new update and providing you the opportunity to automatically download and apply this update.

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    Storyboard Tips & Tricks

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 10, 2012 11:35:52 AM

    Take a look at our latest video that shows some of the cool features in Storyboard that are sometimes overlooked.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    3 min read

    Loading JavaScriptCore extensions dynamically

    By Brian Edmond on Jul 6, 2012 10:30:09 AM

    When doing a WebKit port many people are looking to extend JavaScriptCore with custom functions which expose features of their particular hardware platform. Usually, they are also looking to load JavaScript extensions dynamically at runtime rather than being forced to recompile the WebKit libraries each time they want to add or change a function.

    Topics: webkit
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    2 min read

    Using WebKit’s Remote Web Inspector for Embedded Webkit ports

    By Matthew Ellis on Jun 29, 2012 10:44:58 AM

    I am sure every JavaScript developer is familiar with the “Inspect Element” feature in Chrome and Safari.  It is a very useful tool for debugging web applications.  On an embedded target, pulling up the web inspector is technically possible, but may not be practical with limited screen real estate or limited inputs. Luckily, WebKit.org has recently added support to make all this easier with the Remote Web Inspector.

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    Crank Software at Freescale Technology Forum

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jun 18, 2012 10:48:13 AM

    Just a quick announcement to let you all know that Crank Software's Storyboard Suite will be demonstrated at this years Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) by our good friends Bsquare, Boundry Devices and QNX. Crank Software's, co-founder and President, Brian Edmond will also be in attendance at FTF and will be available to answer any questions about Storyboard Suite. If you would like to get a hold of Brian to setup a meeting ahead of time, please send him an email here.

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    How To : Embedding Storyboard on Linux ARM

    By Jason Clarke on May 28, 2012 10:21:15 AM

    This video walks through how to take your design from Storyboard Designer and run it on an embedded target. In this example we are using an Atmel SAM9 board using fbev to render, but except for the version of the Storyboard Engine you select there isn't much difference between all Linux and QNX target setups.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Using 3D Models with Storyboard 2.0

    By Jason Clarke on May 18, 2012 12:53:00 PM

    Our UI Designer Dan gives a great walkthrough of how to use Storyboard's new 3D model support in the video below. This example shows how to move from Blender to Storyboard and use standard animations to move your model.

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    Crank Software ranks among OBJ's Fastest Growing Companies

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 30, 2012 3:55:03 PM

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    ESC / Design West March 26th - 29th 2012

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 19, 2012 4:29:40 PM

    Crank will have a booth this year at Design West in San Jose California March 26th - 29th 2012.

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    1 min read

    Android Support

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 16, 2012 10:24:48 AM

    The upcoming Storyboard Suite 2.0 brings with it the ability to export a Storyboard Project as a native Android Application. Here are a couple of easy steps showing you how to do that.

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    2 min read

    Dithering 16 Bit Images

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Mar 12, 2012 10:23:08 AM

    Creating images to look impressive on embedded panels is not an easy task. The images might start out looking great on a Graphic Designer's desktop but changes usually need to be made to either fit them on the embedded device or look best on a 16 bit display, regardless, at some point you're probably going to run into banding.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard on Fujitsu Jade

    By Brian Edmond on Feb 23, 2012 10:10:52 PM

    We have been working closely with Fujitsu to support their graphics platforms. The first one to be released is the Jade platform. This is a great ARM platform which can be accelerated using the Fujitsu VO3 library. This library allows Storyboard to be fully accelerated on the Jade platform and give high quality animation effects and great framerates on a lower end platform. Our flexible achitecture allowed us to fully accelerate the graphics pipeline on the Jade. The next step is to integrate our 3D model rendering plugin included in Storyboard 2.0.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Embedded World, Germany, Feb 28th - Mar 1st 2012

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Feb 6, 2012 1:32:08 PM

    Guten Tag,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard Suite 1.3 Update!

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 19, 2011 3:48:11 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    2 min read

    QNX 6.5 running OpenGL ES 2.0

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 5, 2011 3:15:15 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    2 min read

    Freescale i.MX53 and OpenGL ES 2.0

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 28, 2011 4:29:16 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Rapid Android GUI Development with NDK Performance

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 14, 2011 8:30:20 AM

    Coming soon to Storyboard will be support for Android. This means users can create an application in Storyboard Designer and immediately export an Android APK that can be installed on their favorite Android device for verification and testing. This will provide our users with a quick and easy method to verify and share designs on a device before the real hardware is available. Also in the future can provide a powerful development environment for Android app developers that require NDK performance without having to write OpenGL ES code.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard Performance Logging

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 10, 2011 4:24:21 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    Adobe Flash Player for mobile devices

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 9, 2011 9:17:46 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Bit Depth Issues

    By Rodney Dowdall on Oct 31, 2011 10:06:24 AM

    When you have a tool that supports emulation on a host system, one of the common problems that you run in to is the resulting project does not look the same on the target hardware.  An example of this is when you work with a bit depth of 32 on your host system and then run tour storyboard application on a target system that only supports 16 bits per pixel.  Why is this an issue?  Well it's because you go from having millions of colors at your disposal to 65536.  This can cause problems like color banding in gradients.

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    1 min read

    Toronto RTECC show October 28

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 27, 2011 3:18:03 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    What's up doc?

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 24, 2011 10:31:05 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Crank releases Storyboard Suite 1.3

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 19, 2011 10:40:23 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    Does my PSD look good in these jeans?

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 11, 2011 11:18:46 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    2 min read

    PSD Structuring and Importing

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 4, 2011 1:10:22 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Reuse and Share Storyboard Templates

    By Jason Clarke on Sep 12, 2011 10:15:25 AM

    Templates are new in Storyboard 1.3. They provide an easy was to take a common controls and reuse and share them across projects. Templates can also assist in maintaining consistency for look and behaviour throughout the entire application by providing a way to create a common set of templates for buttons, labels, sliders, and more to be used by all developers working on a project.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Working together...no matter what you think of each other

    By Jason Clarke on Aug 5, 2011 4:12:42 PM

    I found this on a Global Nerdy Blog  and thought it explained the need for Storyboard. Three unique roles that all need to work together to get a product to market. They require solutions like Storyboard that assist in bringing them all together and allow them to collaborate....no matter what they really thing of each other :)

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Crank Storyboard Suite v1.3 BETA

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jul 20, 2011 11:37:16 AM

    Topics: Storyboard Beta
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    2 min read

    Productolution

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jul 16, 2011 11:50:47 PM

    One of the things that I find most interesting about working on our  product is watching the evolution of that product.  In the beginning the focus is on the necessary features that your product requires.  The reason for this is, well, because they are necessary.  In our case it was the Storyboard runtime and tooling that could generate files that the runtime could understand.  Obviously this is done because it's nice to have customers that can use your grand vision.

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    1 min read

    Re-vision

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jul 4, 2011 10:01:16 AM

    As we work towards our next release of Storyboard, we are currently at the point of the cycle that I like the least.  It's the point where we lock down our SVN tree and only allow bug fixes in.  I understand the reasoning.  Huge amounts of code churn before a release are never good.  This does, however, have one drawback.  It means that I can't just take some time and experiment with something, as I can't check it in, and if I need to make an actual legitimate bug in that same source, I would have to revert my changes so that I could check in the fix to that bug.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Drag Race

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 23, 2011 3:07:46 PM

    Just a quick blog post to make people aware that the application view in Storyboard Designer now supports drag and drop within it's own tree.  That means that you can move things around simply by dragging them to where you want them to go.  What's that you say?  You dragged something to someplace it should not be?  Have no fear, CTRL-Z is here.  Every operation achieved through the dragging and dropping of elements is completely undo-able.  This is the operation of a Storyboard Designer power user.  Not as clumsy or random as a menu entry; an elegant operation for a more mouse driven age.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Photoshop to Prototype in minutes

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 21, 2011 4:23:57 PM

    A couple of weeks back Rod posted on the blog discussing some improvements he had done with our PSD import to make it even easier. Here is quick video demonstrating taking multiple Photoshop PSD files of different screens and importing them into a single Storyboard Application. In this quick video we import three of the screens for the application, add a screen transition action and run the new application with our desktop simulator.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Take Control of the PSD Import

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 17, 2011 4:38:55 PM

    How many times have you imported a PSD in to Storyboard Designer and said to yourself "Geez, I wish I could make all those layers come in as one control." or "This should be a button, why doesn't it come in as one?"  Of course you probably exclaimed these things after first saying "My, the person that wrote this PSD importer is definitely a high level thinker.  Also, they are probably handsome."

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Preview of Preview

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 9, 2011 9:19:03 AM

    So I just wanted to make people aware of a small new feature in the application model.  After version 1.3 of Storyboard Designer goes out the door, you will be able to show a preview of a Screen, Layer or Control that is in the application model.  To show the preview, simply hold the control key down and then hover over the element that you want to preview.  This way you don't have to move away from whatever you are working on to see what something else looks like.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Crank at ESC Chicago

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 1, 2011 10:54:22 PM

    If you're near Chicago next week make to stop by and see Crank Software's talk on "Collaborative UI Development" at ESC Chicago.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard 3D Transitions

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 1, 2011 11:09:32 AM

    I little while back Brian gave us an early preview of some of the 3D screen transition plugins he was working on for Storyboard 1.3. At that time they were running in the desktop simulator on his development system. Since then we've added the transitions to our standard Storyboard product and they can now be used across any of our target systems with 3D acceleration support.

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    1 min read

    Importing PSD's just got better

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 1, 2011 11:01:49 AM

    The last couple of weeks I have been looking at our PSD import functionality.  We offer a way that you can create a Storyboard project from a PSD file in our tool.  It works fairly well, but what happens if you have more than one PSD file?  The current implementation just creates a new GDE file in the existing project.  If you want to import a second PSD file in to that project, you have to compare and merge those two GDE files.  Another option would be just to bring in the images from a PSD file in to an existing project, but that means that you have to create the controls and layers yourself from those images.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    OpenGL ES 2.0 - flexible and forward looking!

    By chris on May 18, 2011 3:20:52 PM

    On top of support for OpenGL ES 1.x on Wince/Compact7, we've also been working on getting an OpenGL ES 2.0 version of our runtime ready for our 1.3 release!

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Compact 7 with OpenGL ES on the Beagleboard

    By Jason Clarke on May 12, 2011 9:52:41 PM

    Take a early look at Storyboard running on the beagleboard with Compact 7 and OpenGL ES acceleration.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Check out Crank in the ARM Connected Community booth at ESC Silicon Valley

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 25, 2011 11:35:06 AM

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    3D Transition effects

    By Brian Edmond on Mar 30, 2011 10:23:23 PM

    The Storyboard runtime is extensible and plugin based which easily allows the addition of add on modules.  These modules can be platform independant or specific to a operating system or rendering technology.  Storyboard also supports multiple rendering backends including OpenGL ES 1.1.  Most of the core rendering is platform independant but using a plugin we can add some 3D specific features such as 3D gradients, custom image rendering or 3D screen transitions.  The existing screen transition API is very easy to use and extend.  Recently I added some 3D screen effects for use in Storyboard based on the great sample code provided by Hyperbolic Magnetism.  The code is for the iPhone but the framework ported easily to Storyboard.  Here is a video showing the transitions in action.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    UI Testing: It is awkward and hard .. so use Storyboard

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 9, 2011 4:30:43 PM

    I was listening to the radio on the drive into Crank HQ this morning and one of the guests used a great line:

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Embedded World Germany

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Feb 17, 2011 10:53:07 AM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard Suite 1.2 is now available!

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Feb 6, 2011 10:51:25 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    First look at Storyboard on MacOS

    By Jason Clarke on Jan 18, 2011 7:32:06 PM

    Here it is! What you've all been waiting for.....well at least those of you who own a Mac. This is a quick preview of our MacOS support for Storyboard Designer. Also you'll also find another surprise in this video, if your attention span is greater than 2 minutes :), and that's a new feature coming out in Storyboard 1.2 which enables you to export a UI design document from Storyboard.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.2 Collaboration Preview

    By Jason Clarke on Jan 12, 2011 5:15:02 PM

    Collaboration is an exciting new feature coming out in our Storyboard version 1.2 and will play a major part in helping large teams to develop rich graphical user interfaces. Along with this it will also enable UI designers to integrate easier into the embedded lifecycle. To read more about the advantages of collaboration please check out this article we had published in Embedded Computing.

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    Happy New Year!

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jan 5, 2011 12:32:02 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    All I want for Christmas is a Mac Hosted Storyboard Elf-A!

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Dec 17, 2010 9:56:45 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    The Crank Moustaches of Movember

    By Thomas Fletcher on Dec 6, 2010 11:11:30 AM

    Movember is over, and our staff have all returned to their clean shaven selves.

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    Freescale Market Solutions Seminar

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 12, 2010 3:48:05 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    All Aboard The Crank Train

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Nov 2, 2010 10:42:12 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Welcome to Movember .. Crank is In!

    By Thomas Fletcher on Nov 2, 2010 9:40:06 AM

    Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to facial hair I'm, well, folliclely challenged.  I'm 35 years old, married with two kids, co-founder of a successful technology company that develops a world class embedded UI product and mentor to a team of awesome skilled professional developers .... all that yet I still get asked for ID when I go to the Beer Store =;-)

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    Another feather in Crank's cap

    By Rodney Dowdall on Nov 1, 2010 9:44:05 AM

    So it would appear that Apple is going on the legal warpath.  This is seen by some members of the media as a an attack on Google and their Andriod platform.  I would just like to point out that no one has sued Crank to date, and that we take great care in making sure that our code is legit.  I'm not taking sides on this one because I don't have any idea who really came up with the intellectual property that they are fighting over, but I do think that this will make things interesting in the cell phone world for the next couple of months.

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    1 min read

    WebKit Memory Tuning ...

    By Thomas Fletcher on Oct 24, 2010 2:05:07 PM

    We do a fair amount of WebKit related work here at Crank. You rarely see our developers in the public eye because many of our ports to date have been to esoteric operating system, hardware platforms or custom graphics environments.

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    Collaboration in user interface development: New roles and better visualization

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 20, 2010 1:00:03 PM

    Variations in tools and flow make advanced user interface development different from traditional embedded code development. Integrating new roles for graphics and user experience designers adds to the need for new, more visual tools to aid in the process.

    The rise in the importance of the Graphical User Interface (GUI, or more generally UI) is no longer confined to the consumer market. UI design is quickly becoming a key differentiator among products across the entire embedded space. Applications where the UI was only required to be functional rather than eye-catching are evolving to embrace this trend. Industrial and medical devices are already pulling UI concepts from the consumer and mobile markets for their next-generation devices.

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    1 min read

    Renesas DevCon Day 1

    By Brian Edmond on Oct 12, 2010 1:06:01 PM

    We are attending this years Renesas DevCon.  The venue is terrific and the event started with a bang by giving all the attendees a great ravel bag, Jason has decided this is the best bag ever.  Yesterday Jason participated in a meet the experts panel discussion on HMI development.  The talk was very interesting and discussed the movement towards interactive touch based interfaces on everything from thermostats to mobile devices.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard goes golfing

    By Brian Edmond on Oct 3, 2010 9:08:37 PM

    Storyboard is coming to a course near you.  Crank Software is working with PinPoint golf to create a GPS golf system. Storyboard is used for the user interface and presentation logic.  The system can:

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    1 min read

    // Document here

    By chris on Sep 30, 2010 3:41:32 PM

    One of the benefits that comes with opensource code is the number of authors that end up designing/analyzing/re-designing areas of an opensource project.  This can lead to complicated, yet powerful OOP designs.  This can make projects very extendable, which is a great benefit.  Therein lies the pitfall though:  there is often little to no documentation of the complicated design!

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    2 min read

    Crank Customer Highlight - Anthem

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 29, 2010 10:11:15 AM

    Anthem

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    RENESAS DEVCON 2010, OCT 11-14 2010

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 23, 2010 10:52:47 AM

    Crank Software is an exhibitor at this year’s Renesas DEVCON. Jason Clarke, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, will be giving a presentation on “Developing Rich Graphical User Interfaces Optimized for Embedded Systems".

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    1 min read

    GStreamer and Storyboard

    By deric on Sep 21, 2010 4:11:00 PM

    I'd like to start by introducing myself, my name is Deric and I'm the new guy in the Crank Office.  I've been at Crank for about 2 months now and if you're wondering why its taken this long to sign on and say hello it's because I've been so busy getting up to speed on Storyboard and all the other technology used here.  I am really excited to be here and to be working with such a talented group of people on an incredible product.

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    1 min read

    Running sbengine on Photon

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 16, 2010 10:58:57 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    Lua Debugger & Storyboard Suite 1.1.1

    By Jason Clarke on Sep 15, 2010 3:37:12 PM

    We added a new video showing a quick walk through of using our updated Storyboard Suite 1.1.1 Lua Debugger. You can check it out here :

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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.1.1 update is available

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 13, 2010 10:31:38 AM

    Storyboard Suite development is in full force. The crew here has been hard at work implementing changes and resolving issues posted from customers and from our own internal testing. We are now at a point where we have enough changes to release a Storyboard update.

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    3 min read

    Weather Station Part 4 - Screen Design and Data Model

    By Thomas Fletcher on Sep 7, 2010 11:32:31 AM

    This is the fourth post in a series discussing the development of a home weather station using Storyboard as the embedded user interface.

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    Enough said

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Aug 17, 2010 10:47:37 AM

    "Storyboard 1.1 is scary fast" -Crank Customer

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    2 min read

    Stop, Collaborate and Listen

    By Rodney Dowdall on Aug 17, 2010 9:42:16 AM

    My original intention for this blog post was to write it as a complete parody of the song "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice.  In the end I decided against that because the point of the blog post would probably be obscured, I might get sued, and it would more than likely be harder to do than I think.

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    1 min read

    Design....errr?

    By Rodney Dowdall on Aug 10, 2010 9:10:57 AM

    My entire career has been pretty much focused on embedded devices.  A majority of it was focused on Java for embedded devices.  After that I spent some time working with flash on embedded devices. I got to thinking about these applications on embedded boards, and why customers would choose them over just writing straight C/C++ code to accomplish what they needed.

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    3 min read

    Weather Station Part 3 - Event Communication

    By Thomas Fletcher on Aug 7, 2010 2:33:31 PM

    This is the third post in a series discussing the development of a home weather station using Storyboard as the embedded user interface.

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    1 min read

    Weather Station Part 2 - System Architecture

    By Thomas Fletcher on Aug 2, 2010 3:14:04 PM

    This is the second post in a series discussing the development of a home weather station using Storyboard as the embedded user interface.

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    1 min read

    Crank Triples In Size! ....at least our office is

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 29, 2010 3:34:26 PM

    Tomorrow is a big day here at Crank since we are about to move into our new office that is 3 times the size of current office!

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    1 min read

    Weather Station Part 1 - Initial Design

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 29, 2010 2:14:49 PM

    This post is the first in a series that will walk through a complete embedded application design using Storyboard for the user interface component.
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    3 min read

    Analysis Paralysis: When too much choice is a bad thing

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 16, 2010 3:19:48 PM

    I just finished up a Lightning Talk at the 2010 Linux Symposium where I chose the somewhat provocative title

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    3 min read

    Collaborative GUI Development

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 14, 2010 3:57:49 PM

    How to effectively collaborate on developing a GUI for an embedded product has long been an issue. Many companies try to address this issue by assigning a single resource, an embedded system engineer, to be in charge of the GUI and responsible for all changes and features. This solution works in very simple cases but has no ability to scale with larger projects or in the event your project becomes larger then first intended. It also doesn't account for many of the new stake holders being introduced in to the new embedded development cycle such as graphic artists, UE/UX experts, marketing and product management teams. Your product's GUI has quickly become one of the key differentiators and vital to your products success and is no longer a job left for a single resource to be responsible for.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.1.1 ... Hover help and Lua Doc integration

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 9, 2010 12:52:18 PM

    This morning I just committed a change to the Storyboard Designer 1.1.1 code that fixes a rather annoying bug we introduced as part of the code completion where if you typed a space then didn't type something else right away we would kick into auto-code completion mode ... both embarrassing and annoying.

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    1 min read

    WebKit is everywhere ... always a bit different

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 7, 2010 10:22:53 AM

    Interesting post about the multitude of varieties and flavours of WebKit that are available that is worth a read.

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    2 min read

    Understanding Storyboard Scope and Context

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jul 6, 2010 10:34:11 AM

    Storyboard has an intuitive and straightforward development and runtime model.

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    Date and Time Spinner PSD

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jul 6, 2010 10:10:13 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    2 min read

    Everyone in the Linux shop, it's time to do a distro-hop

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jul 3, 2010 3:24:02 PM

    I know what you are thinking. With witty lyrics like that, how is it that I am not in California writing dope rhymes for Snoop? Well, I've always believed that you have to do what you love, and while banging out classics with Snoop would be fun and all, I love working with computers.

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    2 min read

    Making things small ... single source resource cache

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 29, 2010 9:47:43 AM

    When we created the Storyboard platform, our first design goal was to specifically target embedded products.  As the guys over at 37Signals will tell you, drawing a line in a sand can have a clarifying effect and significantly speed up development.

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    2 min read

    Render Extension Flexibility ... SVG: image, polygon points or bitmap?

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 22, 2010 7:54:47 AM

    For those of you who haven't read their way through the Storyboard documentation, a render extension is the piece of your design that actually performs the drawing within the area clipped by the control.  The Storyboard Designer screenshot below shows four different controls, with each control with a different mix of render extensions (none, fill, image, fill and image).

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    1 min read

    Changing everything again with iOS 4?

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jun 21, 2010 12:40:21 PM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Date and Time Spinner Sample

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jun 17, 2010 10:39:32 AM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    QNX ... 30 Years Young!

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 15, 2010 11:59:23 AM

    QNX is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year and has come out with a refreshed version of how QNX touches your life everyday (30 ways of course!).

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    1 min read

    Apple gives the nod to Lua on iPhone/iPad

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 15, 2010 11:28:57 AM

    OK .. so Apple never came out and specifically said that you couldn't use Lua, but the terms of the iPhone developer license were such that incorporating an non-Apple language interpreter was in violation of the agreement.

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    1 min read

    Trendy!

    By chris on Jun 15, 2010 9:54:13 AM

    Interested in implementing a trend graph or similar screen in your Storyboard interface but don't know how?  Wonder no longer!

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Slider Sample

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jun 14, 2010 11:43:57 AM

    Hello Everyone,

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    1 min read

    Storyboard Lua Debugger (Beta)

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jun 10, 2010 1:12:18 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Timing and Tracing Lua

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 9, 2010 10:40:36 AM

    Lua is the primary scripting language for Storyboard applications. One of the exciting features that has been added to as part of the Storyboard 1.1 release is the addition of an integrated Lua debugger ... and we've got a short video coming up later this week that will show you exactly how to use this debugger during your application simulations.

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    2 min read

    Plugins so easy, electrical outlets are jealous: Part 2

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 8, 2010 3:14:25 PM

    When last we left our plugin, it was printing out messages when it started and stopped.  All was right with the world, but then the evil concept design functionality reared it's head.  Our plugin will have to be beefed up in order to handle this new requirement.  Will it be up to the task?   Will our plugin be crushed under the weight of expectations?  Will I ever get to the point?  Find out in Plugins so easy, electrical outlets are jealous:  Part 2 ( insert John Williams composed theme here ).

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    1 min read

    Streamin' with GStreamer

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jun 8, 2010 9:35:38 AM

    I know, I know, I am supposed to write a second blog post about how to manipulate actions and events from a Storyboard engine plugin, but I just wanted to post a quick note that we now have gstreamer support for the runtime.  This plugin allows us to play video and audio.  The tool is also aware of our gstreamer actions and events, so you can build up a media player pretty quickly .  It's not available in the current download, so if you need it, you'll have to contact us about it, but it should be there for the next release of the runtime.

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    1 min read

    How to get data into your application ... Storyboard IO!!

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 7, 2010 11:12:17 AM

    As part of our Storyboard Suite 1.1 release, we are updating our documentation as well and adding to our growing collection of videos on YouTube.

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    1 min read

    Giving designers the best feedback possible ...

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 3, 2010 2:06:15 PM

    One of our design goals when producing Storyboard Designer was to be able to provide a tool that graphic designers would feel comfortable using, and at the same time guide their designs.

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    Come Check Out Crank at the RTECC Shows in Montreal and Ottawa

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 2, 2010 11:37:48 AM

    If you are planning to be near Montreal or Ottawa next week it will be a great opportunity to come see Crank Storyboard Suite for a live demo. We will be at RTECC  Montreal show on Tuesday June 8th and in at the RTECC Ottawa show on Thursday June 10th. The show is free and a lunch is provided , all you need to do it register (and don't forget to mention Crank as your reason for attending).

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    1 min read

    Prototyping Embedded UI's: How to go from Flash to product?

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 2, 2010 9:22:39 AM

    I was trolling around some user interface design sites and came across this catchy abstract title:

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    1 min read

    Relentless Curiosity

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 1, 2010 10:45:30 AM

    I have a great admiration for people who build user interfaces and manage the user experience of a product.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Gestures and Storyboard

    By Thomas Fletcher on May 31, 2010 8:55:14 AM

    I have to admit, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with gestures (fully supported in Storyboard 1.1 by the way!).

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Crank Storyboard Suite 1.1 is Released!

    By Jason Clarke on May 27, 2010 4:03:32 PM

    The enhancements available in Crank Storyboard Suite 1.1 provide functionality that enables R&D teams to accelerate the design cycle resulting in faster times to commercialization. Storyboard 1.1 gives teams extended platform support for new operating systems and architectures delivering unparalleled performance though the use of industry standard graphic APIs.

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    1 min read

    mmm ... Frozen Yogurt

    By Jamie Villeneuve on May 26, 2010 3:28:00 PM

    Hello everyone. I haven't checked the temperature for the rest of the world but man it is hot here in the great white north. For a country known for skiing, igloos and dog sleighs, it sure is abnormally warm for this time of year. I'm just hoping this is not a taste of how the rest of the summer is going to be. To quote Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam "It's hot! Damn hot! Real hot! ..."

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    3 min read

    Plugins so easy, electrical outlets are jealous: Part 1

    By Rodney Dowdall on May 25, 2010 8:02:46 PM

    No software product out there can fully offer all of the features that are required by an end user.  In order to mitigate this, most products now offer an interface through which a user can extend the functionality.  Our product suite is no different.  The tooling side of our product is based on Eclipse, which has legendary extendability.  You can also extend our runtime as well. When our runtime starts up, it searches the plugin path for compatible plugins to load.  This plugin path is set through a command line option, or by setting an environment variable.  Over my next couple of blog posts, I am going to walk through the process of creating a plugin for our runtime.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.1, are you ready for it?

    By Jason Clarke on May 5, 2010 4:52:31 PM

    As we are closing out the last few issues on our Storyboard Suite1.1 and doing the final testing I thought I'd give you a quick update on some of the new features it will include. The biggest addition to this release will be many new supported platforms for the Storyboard Engine. The list of new Engine platforms supported in 1.1 include :

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    3 min read

    Testing, 1, 2, 3

    By Rodney Dowdall on Apr 20, 2010 10:49:59 AM

    If you undertake a Webkit project, at some point, you are probably going to want to test it. Call me silly, but it seems like the right thing to do.  Webkit has some regression testing frameworks that are available to you, and so I figured I would share my thoughts on these frameworks.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.1 will include Linux hosted enviroment

    By Jason Clarke on Apr 8, 2010 3:21:11 PM

    We are quickly getting closer to our 1.1 release of our Storyboard Suite. One of the bigger features that will be available in this release is a Linux hosted version of Storyboard Designer. No longer will you Linux developers need to flip back and forth between a Windows and Linux box in order to do your work. Below you can see a snapshot of my Ubuntu 9.10 desktop with Storyboard Designer and our Simulator running.

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    Rotation ... who knew it was so contentious

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 26, 2010 3:14:36 PM

    Help ... we're in a forest and we've lost the trees.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard for STMicroelectronics

    By Brian Edmond on Mar 24, 2010 8:35:21 PM

    We have been working on some new operating system ports including 2 from STMicroelectronics

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    1 min read

    HW Graphics Acceleration: IE gets it ...

    By Thomas Fletcher on Mar 18, 2010 9:13:12 AM

    One of the key differentiators that Storyboard, Crank's user interface design and deployment technology, offers is the ability to fully take advantage of the hardware offload capabilities of your embedded system, be it graphic engines, hardware layers or simply hardware blit capabilities.

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    1 min read

    Image locality

    By chris on Mar 12, 2010 2:24:35 PM

    Locality is an interesting to think about and exploit when designing algorithms for image processing.  For normal data processing a simple MRU cache is a common solution, taking advantage of similarities as you linearly traverse a data set.  When you start thinking about image processing however, locality is suddenly two-dimensional.  Considering the pixel above you is equally as advantageous as considering the pixel to your left.

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    1 min read

    Renesas MS7724 and DirectFB

    By Brian Edmond on Mar 9, 2010 8:51:45 PM

    I have been working lately on a new platform for Storyboard, the Renesas MS7724 Platform.  This is a really nice platform to work with and came with an 800x480 LCD screen.  It has 2D hardware acceleration for blitting including alpha blending and color keying.  It also has multiple display layers, a camera input and onboard video decode.  It is nice to work with a platform which has some horsepower for a change.  I also liked the fact that it booted from a USB key which made it very easy to work with.

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    TWIT!....oops I mean TWEET!

    By Jason Clarke on Mar 6, 2010 9:37:11 AM

    Alright, alright, stop begging....it's really getting embarrassing.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard hits the links

    By Jason Clarke on Feb 26, 2010 8:59:36 PM

     

    Pin-Point Golf has announced the upcoming  release of their new Touch Point GPS that leverages Crank's Storyboard Engine to drive the UI. You can check out a video that walks through the features and shows off the user interface here.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Apple versus Adobe

    By Jason Clarke on Feb 25, 2010 9:39:20 AM

    A lot of words are flying back and forth about using flash on the iPhone and soon to be released iPad. I've found this video to be very interesting in explaining a lot of the points.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard gets a Lua Script Debugger

    By Thomas Fletcher on Feb 23, 2010 11:24:44 AM

    I'm not ashamed to say I love Lua.  It may not be mainstream, but it is an awesome language for embedding within applications. It is way better than JavaScript as an extension language.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    Embedded World - Nuremberg Germany - March 2 - 4, 2010

    By Jason Clarke on Feb 10, 2010 10:54:51 AM

    If you are planning to be in Nuremberg Germany for Embedded World or Electronics Display Conference in early March come and check out Crank's own Thomas Fletcher talk on "Integrating graphics designers into the embedded design cycle" on March 3rd.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Optimizing low end UI's

    By Brian Edmond on Feb 3, 2010 10:57:00 PM

    When building a product with a user interface the trade off is always to get the best graphics performance with the lowest processor power.  Most of these processors have no graphics acceleration and possibly limited instruction sets.  Over the years I have come up with a list of simple things that can be done when designing the target user interface which will improve performance.  These are guidelines for designing the UI with should not really limit the designer very much.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    I fought the Layouts, and the Layouts won.

    By Rodney Dowdall on Jan 13, 2010 2:04:25 PM

    I've been working on a base view in our tooling that would allow for drop down elements.  What I mean by this is that if there is an error in the view, then a label will drop down and let you know, or if you want to search the view for something, then hit a key combination and a search box will drop down.  There may be other stuff that I can put in at a later date, but for now I am focusing on those two.  I'm doing this because I think it's a good way of getting rid of some of the dialogs that pop up in our tool.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Quality control for user experience

    By Jason Clarke on Jan 12, 2010 10:44:40 PM

    I just came across this article talking about the well known lack of flash on the iPhone. I felt it made many great points to explain why Apple wouldn't want flash on their phone despite the demand from 80% their customer base. The iPhone's user experience is one it's greatest differentiators in the market and if they feel having flash on their device would compromise the performance and battery life then who can fault them.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Portable Code

    By chris on Jan 10, 2010 10:37:22 PM

    I've been working on porting some open source code to Windows CE recently and ran into something which got me thinking about portable code, and thinking ahead when designing/implementing something.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Storyboard gets OpenVG

    By Brian Edmond on Jan 7, 2010 9:35:45 AM

    We have been hard at work enhancing Storyboard and taking advantage of new rendering technologies.  Recently I decided to add OpenVG into the mix. 

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Moving Mountains

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Jan 4, 2010 10:57:13 PM

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Topics: Storyboard
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    1 min read

    Storyboard 1.0.1: Merry Christmas!

    By Thomas Fletcher on Dec 24, 2009 11:04:53 AM

    Just in case you haven't fully made up your mind on what you wanted for Christmas, here is one last minute idea that you can add to your list for Santa: Storyboard 1.0.1 ... released just hours before Santa's getting his sleigh ready for transit!

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Lead a widget free life! Live a better life!

    By Thomas Fletcher on Dec 6, 2009 2:23:33 PM

    I sat down to write out this entry shortly after writing about Storyboard's initial success, but I found that it quickly became something that would likely never be read.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Animations made easy

    By Jason Clarke on Dec 1, 2009 10:33:56 AM

    Most embedded GUIs were not designed for use with animations. This is mainly due to the environment that they grew out of. The first GUIs in the embedded market were designed for the industrial market were functionality was their only concern. The market has changed and evolved since then and the requirement for a GUI to be only functional is a thing of  the past. Todays' embedded GUIs are a key product differentiator, and this is not only true in the consumer market, every market is starting to see this trend including industrial. The problem with this trend is that frameworks and tools the embedded market is use to do not allow for simple concepts like an animation or a faded screen transition without a lot of custom work and extensions to the underlying framework.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    2 min read

    Designing User Friendly Applications

    By Thomas Fletcher on Nov 29, 2009 10:46:17 AM

    Was passed along these 8 tips for designing user friendly applications the other day.  It is a quick read, and pretty good general advice ... in particular about providing a consistent behaviour. 

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    5 min read

    WebKit porting tips: The good, the bad, and the ugly

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 24, 2009 7:30:51 AM

    I thought I'd post this article from our newsletter for those of you don't get it. And if you don't get our newsletter you can sign up for it here.

    Topics: Uncategorized
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    1 min read

    Dithering

    By Brian Edmond on Nov 16, 2009 8:44:47 PM

    Over the years I have worked on may user interface projects for embedded devices with touchscreens.  One question always gets asked at some point "Hey why does my fancy gradient have bands on it, it doesn't on my desktop?".  Tools like Photoshop are great but they make things look so nice.  On the target you are usally running at a reduced color depth, such as 16bit RGB, and gradients just look bad and get banded.

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    1 min read

    Burden of Proof

    By Rodney Dowdall on Nov 12, 2009 12:58:09 AM

    I've always found solutions that are sort of obvious, but no one really notices them right away, interesting.  Let me give you an example.  One of my favorite compression algorithms is the ASCII compression algorithm.  This algorithm takes the 8th ASCII character and stores it in the 8th bit of the previous 7 ASCII characters.  This algorithm works because ASCII characters do not make use of the 8th bit.  It's simplistic, and gives a really bad compression ratio, but I like it because it seems like the sort of thing that was just hiding in plain site.  So when I saw the Bits of Evidence presentation at Dev Days it really stuck with me.

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    1 min read

    Storyboard Suite is now released (and a few other notes)

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 11, 2009 10:09:41 PM

    In case you missed all the news we've how released our Storyboard Suite!!! You can find the press release on our site at the following link.

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    Flash lite on the iPhone

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 9, 2009 1:32:27 PM

    Ran across this interesting post talking about why flash lite isn't on the iPhone. They list (from an unknown source at Reddit) a few of the reasons why Apple rejected flash lite for their iPhone with biggest issue being that  flash would suck the iPhone's battery dry in less than one hour. Not a good sign for anyone looking to use flash for their main user interface on a mobile / battery device. Plus it also points out, even if you aren't battery dependant, the load flash will put on your CPU.

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    Come and test drive Storyboard

    By Jason Clarke on Nov 8, 2009 10:26:05 PM

    We are pleased to announce that we now have a 30 day trial of our complete Storyboard Suite available for download from our website.  We encourage anyone looking to embed a rich user interface to give it a test drive and experience for yourself how Crank's Storyboard Suite can help you move quickly from design, to prototype and then to market.

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    Touchscreens on your phone

    By Thomas Fletcher on Nov 4, 2009 10:48:17 PM

    Here's an interesting snippet over on Linux Devices where they site a study claiming that over half of existing touchscreen phone users would not buy another pure touchscreen phone

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    1 min read

    Choose your own adventure

    By Rodney Dowdall on Nov 1, 2009 2:52:20 PM

    Sorry I'm a little late on this.  I meant to post some thoughts about a couple of the presentations that I attended while at the Dev Days software conference a couple of Friday's ago.  I'll try and have my next post up sooner.

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    2 min read

    I survived [the flight to] Dev Days

    By Rodney Dowdall on Oct 24, 2009 5:06:41 PM

    And the flight back, for that matter.  For those of you who don't know, I am not much of a flyer.  Not sure exactly why, but I get nervous while 30,000 feet in the air.

    However, sometimes, I have to get in to a plane and go somewhere.  Yesterday it was to attend the StackOverflow Dev Days conference in Toronto with Thomas.  I have to say, that I am very happy that  I went.  I learned something from each of the presentations, which I hope will make me a better software engineer in the future.  It's not that I think I am a horrible engineer right now, but I can always get better, and the day I feel I can't get any better, then I will have to switch jobs.  The previous statement is a paraphrasing of a quote that I agree with.  I'm just not sure who made the quote.

    Anyways, on to the conference.  It had 7 presentations geared around software development.  For the most part, the presenters hit the mark on what they were talking about, and maintained my interest.  The only point in the day where I started to look for other things to do was when one of the presenters went through a coding example.  I don't mind coding examples, but please if you are going to present an example of  some code, don't write said code during the presentation.  The presentation bogs down while the presenter types away on a keyboard.   I can write code, and I can also read code, so if the example is written ahead of time, I feel the presentation of the example will go along a little smoother.  All you need to do in the coding example is point out the parts that are important to your presentation.

    All in all, I had a great time at the conference, and I came away with a lot of stuff to think about during my day to day routines as a developer, which I will comment on in my next couple of posts.  In the end, I hope that this experience will help me become a better engineer.  I would like to thank Crank for providing me with the opportunity to attend the conference.  We are down to crunch time with our Storyboard product, and every hour is precious, so allowing me to be gone for a whole day is really big.  So big in fact, that I was willing to fly.

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    2 min read

    Crank and WebKit ... what's the connection?

    By Thomas Fletcher on Oct 20, 2009 11:02:29 PM

    It is a good question to ask ... and not just about WebKit, but our involvement in other web browser ports, such as Mozilla, to embedded systems.

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    1 min read

    Stop having a boring life.

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Oct 10, 2009 9:46:55 PM

    Man I bet Microsoft can't wait till Windows 7 is released. The last two products they have let out the door over the pass couple of weeks have not received a lot of good press. The Zune HD was released a couple of weeks ago and it didn't receive much positive feedback. WinMo 6.5 was just released and Business Week's review is less then stellar. Gizmodo doesn't have anything better to add either.

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    2 min read

    To Zune or not to Zune

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 21, 2009 9:16:08 PM

    As many of you know the Microsoft Zune HD was released last week. You have to give Microsoft credit as they are persistent. The original Zune was released in 2006 and hasn't taken any respectable bite out of the portable music market pie so far. Any other company might of thrown in the towel and moved on to something else or focused on their core competencies. Not Microsoft. The Bean Counter commercial sums up Microsoft pretty well. :)

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    1 min read

    Storyboard meets the public

    By Jason Clarke on Sep 17, 2009 10:25:05 AM

    This past Tuesday was Crank Software's first public introduction of our Storyboard UI Suite to the world....well at least Toronto.

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    2 min read

    Money don't grow on trees

    By Jamie Villeneuve on Sep 15, 2009 8:50:47 AM

    Hello World! I figured that would be appropriate since this is my first blog post at Crank Software. :) Cheesy, maybe; Retro, absolutely ;)

    Topics: Storyboard
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    2 min read

    Wow, they were right, global variables are bad

    By Rodney Dowdall on Sep 14, 2009 9:45:13 PM

    You hear it again and again from software developers. Global variables are evil. Global variables are bad. Global variables were the downfall of the Roman empire. I could sort of understand where the statements were coming from, but it didn't totally hit me until I started working on our Windows simulator.

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    Crank Pens

    By Brian Edmond on Aug 13, 2009 10:49:35 AM

    Today was a very exciting day at Crank Software.  We have reached that high point in a company's life when they get corporate pens. 

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    1 min read

    Heads Down

    By Jason Clarke on Jul 26, 2009 5:01:16 PM

    Sorry for the silence on the blog front as of late, not that we were overly consistent to begin with. The reason is we have all be rather focused on getting ready for release (and also helping our key customers and early adopters).   Crank's Storyboard UI Suite is coming along and everything is looking very positive for the GA. It is a very exciting time at Crank Software.

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    Crank rocks DemoCamp! (well....sort of)

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 22, 2009 1:54:01 PM

    Last week we attended the Eclipse DemoCamp for the release of Galileo incase you haven't ben following our blog. Not that our software has a lot to do with the Galileo release, but we wanted to show off what we've been doing with Eclipse. Everything went well with the tool demo and I think it showed everyone in a quick 10 minute space what we are bringing to embedded world. However....it wouldn't be a real demo it everything went right. The final output on the VMware target messed up a little :-( 

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    Storyboard as a GF Application Builder

    By Thomas Fletcher on Jun 17, 2009 2:42:51 PM

    One of the nicest things that the Storyboard product is providing is a mechanism by which you can quickly turn visual prototypes (ie something designed in Photoshop) into working application code (ie something running on an embedded target).

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    Is Flash suitable for Embedded User Interfaces

    By Jason Clarke on Jun 1, 2009 2:24:16 PM

    I feel that the embedded industry is always looking for a silver bullet that they can simply pull from the desktop market and will solve all the issues of  the embedded world. A while ago it was Java, and everyone thought java would solve all  issues. However everyone soon learned that it didn't and introduced a whole bunch of its own.

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    See Crank at Demo Camp!

    By Thomas Fletcher on May 15, 2009 11:20:38 AM

    If you have wanted to see what we've been developing here over the last few months, and you are in the Ottawa area then you'll be able to get a live demo at the Ottawa Galileo Eclipse Demo Camp in June. 

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    1 min read

    Webkit, MPlayer and Storyboard ... together