Ever since the launch of the iPhone there has been a focus on user interfaces (UI) in embedded devices. This initial UI focus was on consumer devices – initially other smartphones, but it then moved to other consumer products like TV and set-top-box. It is fair to say that Mentor has helped a significant number of the developers of these products create some pretty stunning UIs using Mentor’s own UI product called Inflexion. Many of these have used Android or Linux operating systems (on which Inflexion runs).
This is all very well but what about products which benefit from the true real time aspects and reliability of an RTOS? What are companies who are developing, say, medical or industrial devices doing for UI? My experience is that many of these companies struggle for UI – yet their customers, whether they are demanding better UI. This is not surprising – whether a world class surgeon or a patient, we are all exposed to the same UIs in the consumer world of hence of course our expectations are shaped by them.
Are we letting end users down? Although we can let smartphones and tablets steal the show, we can’t allow these other important products disappoint. There are solutions out there to help developers create much better UI whilst still retaining the benefits of an RTOS. Naturally I will plug Mentor’s own product here – it is called ReadyStart, it is based on Mentor’s Nucleus RTOS and comes bundled with the Inflexion UI tool and engine.
Come on guys (and gals), let’s step up to the mark and delight our customers with UIs that are intuitive, modern and, most of all, a joy to use!