1/16/2013

Using Crank Storyboard to create an automotive user interface

Just how adept is the QNX CAR application platform at supporting a variety of user interface technologies and toolkits?

From the beginning, we've promoted flexibility as a key quality of the QNX CAR application platform. For instance, the platform lets you work with a variety of user interface technologies, including HTML5, Qt, OpenGL ES, and others. What's more, it lets you blend UI components built with different technologies on the same display, at the same time. You're not forced into using a single API or toolkit.

When it came time to build our new technology concept car, we decided to put this flexibility to the test. After all, the whole point of the concept car is to demonstrate the capabilities of the QNX CAR platform. So, for the first time, we tried building a user interface with the Storyboard Suite from Crank Software.

How well did the QNX CAR platform and Storyboard work together? I think the results speak for themselves. For instance:



Of course, this photo can't demonstrate the smooth animations and snappy performance of the car's user interface. For that, I recommend one of the videos shot at CES, including the excellent video from TI.

So why did we choose Storyboard? For one thing, it allowed our concept team to take UI components created in Photoshop and import them directly into their live design. Rather than spend days or weeks recreating the UI in code, the team's engineers were able to start with what the UI designer provided. Which made prototyping and fine-tuning the UI a lot easier.

Mind you, that wasn't the only reason the team used StoryBoard. But instead of listening to me blather about it, check out this video:



Key takeaway: If you're building a UI for your QNX-based system, you owe it to yourself to check out Crank's Storyboard Suite. You can learn more on the Crank website.

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