What is Storyboard?

What_Is_storyboardHere 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.

So, what IS Storyboard (anyway)?

You know that “Internet of Things” that all your friends are talking about at parties? I would wager that it’s impossible you haven’t heard of IoT. Our world is becoming increasingly connected, and at the intersection of the Internet of Things and the people it serves are the end nodes and devices that deliver a deluge of data for human consumption. The visual representation of all of this information is realized by graphical user interfaces (GUIs), designed and optimized for displays of all types.

So what tool do you use to design those GUIs?

Oh yeah. We do that.
Simply put, Storyboard Suite is a toolbox for designers of graphical displays. With Storyboard you can design your UI–fast, and you can use the same tool suite to deploy the UI to whatever device you are working with. But you don’t want to read marketing copy, so watch this 101 second video instead.

And now you know.

Don’t forget to download a free 30-day trial of Crank Storyboard Suite to take it for a test drive, and be sure to check out our ever-expanding video library to learn even more about what Storyboard is and how to use it.

Fujitsu IdeaBoxx featuring Crank Software: Fast-tracking GUI design

SONY DSCImagine 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?

This week Fujitsu Semiconductor announced IdeaBoxx, a complete graphics development environment aimed at designers of embedded applications. That’s you! With Crank Software and Fujitsu joining forces, IdeaBoxx contains all of the hardware and software goodness you need to build UI prototypes quickly and deploy optimized graphics to the hardware within minutes.

Diving into the experience for Graphic Designers and the benefits to customers, this video from Fujitsu showcases how quickly users can take industry-standard design files, like Photoshop PSD files, import them into Storyboard Suite, create animations, and then see their GUIs on hardware.


Storyboard Suite for IoT: A tool everyone in your organization can use

Storyboard_Suite_DesignerIn 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.

This isn’t the case with Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite. While Storyboard can be used to design and develop very complex UIs for embedded devices, it can also be used to demo and prototype UIs before pulling in development resources for production applications.

When Green Hills Software wanted to showcase the capability of their software architecture for securing IoT devices based on their INTEGRITY RTOS, their Marketing team created the UI for a secure payment credit card demo. They were able to design and build the UI thanks to the ease-of-use of Storyboard Suite’s tools, and their development team were able to add their programming expertise later in the design cycle. This allowed the Marketing team to move forward with the design and prototyping stage without having to wait for development resources.

You can see this payment security demo on Freescale’s Internet of Tomorrow Tour. Visit http://iot.freescale.com/ to find out where when this tour will be coming to a city near you!

Demo: Storyboard Suite application demo on an STM32F429 MCU

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.

Today’s Storyboard demo showcases two applications that you’ve probably seen running on other high-performance MPUs. This demo features the STM32F429 MCU with an ARM Cortex-M4 core running FreeRTOS. We’ve taken advantage of Chrom-ART Accelerator to boost the UI graphics without robbing the core of processing power that can be best utilized for the rest of the application.

Other Storyboard demos and videos are available on our YouTube channel.

To try Crank Storyboard Suite yourself, try our 30-day trial.

Demo: Crank Storyboard on the Atmel SAMA5D4

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.

But have you seen a Storyboard application that encourages you to run farther and faster?

Check out our recent demo of the Atmel SAMA5D4 running a treadmill application built with Storyboard Suite. The application features video playback and a touchscreen with multiple controls that can be used to interact with a treadmill to adjust things like speed and incline, and display data like heart rate, distance, and accomplishments. But watch out for that tree!

If you are at ARM TechCon 2014 in Santa Clara this week, stop by the Atmel booth #205 to check out the demo in person.