It’s that time of year again. The folks here at Crank are getting geared up to head to Embedded World 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany, next week from February 25 – 27.
Getting the opportunity to showcase Storyboard Suite to a receptive audience always gets us pumped, and this year we have even more to get excited about. We released Storyboard Suite 3.2 this past November, and can’t wait to show off the latest features in our booth. Whether you are involved in designing or developing user interfaces for embedded systems, we’ve been innovating and adding features with you in mind. Did you know that 3.2 allows you to re-import Photoshop files as you make revisions? We don’t mind if you need to tweak your graphics 10 times. Storyboard can handle that. Working with 3D elements in your design? 3D edit mode can help make editing them simple and quick. Want to hear about more new features geared toward making it easier to integrate designers into the development process? Come chat with us in our booth– Hall 4, Booth 539. We’re super friendly and look forward to meeting new attendees and reacquainting with familiar faces.
Check out some of the 3.2 features you can expect to see in our booth:
Demos? We’ve got ‘em! Sure, we could go on and on about how great we think Storyboard is, but we know you’d rather see it in action and check out some awesome interfaces that have been built using it.
Some of the demos and target platforms showcasing Storyboard that we’ll be showing include:
We hope to be blogging, tweeting, and posting photos, so stay tuned for updates from the show floor in Germany. If you are attending Embedded World, we are looking forward to seeing you! Perhaps we will be giving away free stuff!*
If you don’t find yourself in Germany at Embedded World next week, take a moment to download a 30-day evaluation and try out the Storyboard Suite first hand.
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.
Recently we have been looking into how Storyboard could integrate into or communicate with a Qt based application. Storyboard gives UI developers and designers an extremely fast and efficient way to build modern HMI solutions (you can see an example here of how Storyboard differs from QML for UI Development). This solution is cross platform and extremely small and efficient. Users of Qt are also generally building cross platform applications and using QtGui may not be an option due to memory and performance concerns. Storyboard can be used in conjunction with Qt in order to solve these problems and still give the developer a cross platform solution.
One option to integrate Storyboard and Qt is to run Storyboard as a Qt widget. This allows Storyboard content to be displayed and interacted with onscreen with any other Qt based widget elements.
Another option allows users to remove the QtGui component and use Storyboard for the entire UI. This will also have the benefit of saving memory and increased performance. In this option Storyboard is run as the user interface and a non-GUI Qt application is written to preform backend logic. The Qt application can then communicate with Storyboard using a Qt/Storyboard IO bridge allowing data and events to seamlessly be transfered between the 2 environments.
As can be seen Storyboard and Qt are not a mutually exclusive solution, they can work together. I think Qt users will find that Storyboard gives them a rich visual design tool and will help speed their designs to market while still maintaining a cross platform application.
There is nothing like starting off the new year with a massive show like CES, in Las Vegas!
Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite will be well represented at CES this year. Storyboard 3.2 will be showcased in the Texas Instruments Technology Village (N115 in the North Hall) as well as in the Green Hills Software Hospitality Suite located at the Venetian Hotel.
In-Car and Medical
Expect to see Storyboard Suite 3.2 running on a Jacinto 6 powering an automotive cluster unit as well as on a Beagle Bone Black displaying a rich medical device user interface.
Advanced 3D Cluster
Green Hills is demonstrating Storyboard Embedded Engine with advanced 3D cluster graphics on INTEGRITY RTOS and the Texas Instruments Jacinto 6 platform.
Our president Brian Edmond will be at the show so please send us an email if you’d like to set up a meeting to discuss how Storyboard Suite can be a part of your next UI project.
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.
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.
“Creating an embedded device with a successful, graphical UI is a priority for many of our i.MX customers,” said Michael Norman, Software and Tools Technical Marketing Manager, Microcontroller business at Freescale. “We chose to partner with Crank Software because we are confident that with Storyboard Suite, our customers can get the best UIs possible for their devices, taking advantage of a collaborative process and short development time.”
Crank Software is excited to announce the release of Storyboard Suite 3.2 today!
Storyboard Suite 3.2 brings increased functionality to UI designers and embedded developers continuing to make it easy for your teams to develop, prototype, and refine a UI until it’s perfect for a customer – both in function and in design.
Additionally, we’ve improved the overall usability of Storyboard so you now benefit from simpler tools for off-screen content editing, reference anchor points for more precise alignment, and control property functions for inline math. And, Lua can now be used to create animations and directly set table attributes.
Crank Software, an innovator in embedded user interface (UI) solutions, today announced Crank Storyboard Browser, an extension of Storyboard Suite with a WebKit-based HTML5 renderer that allows users to bring HTML content directly into a Storyboard Application and deploy it on an embedded target.
“We see the benefits of HTML5 and wanted to bring its capabilities to UI engineers without making them outsource WebKit development, which takes months and strains budgets,” said Brian Edmond, Crank Software president. “With Storyboard Browser, developers get exactly what they need – a version of WebKit that integrates HTML5 content into an easy-to-use Storyboard application.”
To get a UI development tool and a WebKit-based application that renders HTML5 content, product teams traditionally must piece together a multiple-vendor solution, but with Crank Software, teams can simply use the proven Storyboard Suite with the Storyboard Browser extension for a single-vendor, seamless solution to creating the best UI possible.
Brian Edmond, president and co-founder of Crank Software Inc., will be at TI TECH Days Detroit, MI, September 26. Come by the exhibit hall to meet Brian and see a demo of the latest Storyboard Suite features and learn how Storyboard can solve your new and existing GUI challenges. Additionally, Brian is speaking on ”Accelerated Graphics in Virtualized and Non-Virtualized Environmenst on Jacinto6 and OMAP™ 5 SoC,” during Track 1, Session 5, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Come hear him present on how Storyboard Suite takes advantage of the underlying accelerated hardware to present rich and powerful UIs. We hope to see you at TI Tech Days, you can follow our updates on Twitter via #TItechday.
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.
Our current continuous integration system already runs automated tests on self-hosted platforms such as Windows, MacOS and Linux. We wanted to expand the automated tests to the runtime platforms and reduce our manual testing using the same framework. To start things off, we set up two Texas Instruments AM335x Starter Edition boards in our lab which should remain there for the most part. These boards run a Linux distribution and QNX 6.5 respectively. We run our tests on Linux using the OpenGLES 2.0 renderer and the FBDev renderer. On the QNX side of things, we have started testing using the OpenGLES 2.0 renderer for now. These boards are connected to the buildbot which issues the commands for the tests and records all the data received. This is useful because we can see what our data generally looks like over time. For example, we can create a graph that plots performance data over time. It is possible that the tests all pass but performance may take a hit. When we notice something like this, we take the necessary steps to fix it.
By adding our embedded targets to our automated tests we can perform testing more quickly, effectively and there is less room for error once we have it all set up. This should ultimately help us create a better product for everybody.