Embedded GUI tool adds iteration without affecting backend code - Embedded.com

Embedded GUI tool adds iteration without affecting backend code

Expectation of smartphone-style user experiences on all types of devices puts a focus on tools for embedded GUI (graphical user-interface) development. To address this need, Crank Software has launched the latest version of its embedded GUI development platform, Storyboard 7.0.

Storyboard allows the import of GUI graphics content from design tools like Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator, test and validate the functionality with a simulator directly on a target hardware device (microcontroller, crossover device or MPU). The latest version now adds rapid design import and iteration technology, with which developers can use Storyboard to visualize changed assets and rapidly assess, accept, or reject elements in a timesaving manner.

This accelerated workflow allows teams to refine their products at any stage in their development cycle, from wearables and smart home appliances to medical devices. The new version of Storyboard transforms the traditional process of adapting GUI applications to design changes into agile UX development, where developers can re-import Sketch and Photoshop design files without affecting the backend code.

Crank Software NXP development
Storyboard allows the import of GUI graphics content from design tools like Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator, test and validate the functionality with a simulator directly on a target hardware device (microcontroller, crossover device or MPU). (Image: Crank Software)

Crank Software said Storyboard is compatible with many microcontrollers (MCUs), crossover processors and MPUs. Its proprietary technology separates the UI from the backend, until it is exported with the hardware-specific runtime engine from its library. It supports a variety of operating systems including Linux, Windows, Android, FreeRTOs and iOS. It also openly supports VG Lite, OpenGL and a host of other graphic rendering technologies to ensure projects are able to take advantage of ecosystem updates as they happen.

The importance of design resiliency and agile change practices has never been more important. According to Forrester, design can help companies understand their ecosystem today, grasp its complexity, make sense of it, and experiment with potential futures in a controlled way — helping them to be more resilient.

The VP of research and development at Crank Software, Thomas Fletcher, said, “Storyboard 7.0 brings the embedded systems industry closer to delivering the rich, sophisticated GUIs that consumers crave, driven by growth in the wearables and personal devices segments that demand high performance on low-power devices. By closely aligning embedded developers with the iterative change processes of designers — using popular tools like Sketch and Photoshop — manufacturers don’t have to sacrifice UX quality or performance for development time.”

NXP Semiconductors’ marketing manager of wearables and personal devices, Eduardo Montanez, said, “In our modern IoT-driven world, consumers want access to new types of connectivity, longer battery life, and data-driven features that all come together at the user interface. Combining Storyboard’s rapid design iteration technology with platforms, like NXP’s crossover processors, that support low power consumption and performance efficiency is essential in meeting the growing and demanding needs of today’s marketplace.”

Crank Software’s silicon partners for Storyboard are NXP Semiconductors, Microchip, STMicroelectronics, Renesas, Texas Instruments and Arm. Software partners are QNX Software, Green Hills Software, ITTIA and Wind.


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