It’s a Mobile World ― Isn’t There an HMI App for That?

Today, mobile, tactile and multi-touch human–machine interfaces (HMIs) are making their way into embedded displays in automotive, aerospace and defense, energy and other industrial domains. The code that controls them (along with the displays) can be easily generated and controlled graphically through mobile devices. And ANSYS is working on an app for that.

Before I get to those details, let me first provide some industry perspective. Aerospace, historically conservative given how aircraft programs have endured across many years of operation, has already embraced the move to mobility. From business jets to bigger commercial airplanes, and from the cabin to the cockpit, iPad and Android tablets are used for a variety of avionics applications. Some suppliers have selected Android as their platform of choice for tactile in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems.

Another example: some platform providers select a secure Google Android-based tablet computer to combine situational awareness with communications and control for unmanned avionics systems. In that case, the goal is to secure mobile tactical edge devices on ad-hoc networks, as well as mobile devices on commercial networks, by extending certified secure operating system features to Android.

HMI spp

In business aviation, iPads and Android tablets are now the mobile platforms of choice for GPS, maps or flight planning tactile applications (including digital charts, from sectionals to IFR en route charts to approach plates, or detailed airport data), allowing pilots to plan, brief and file flight plans. Such mobile platforms are now used in the biggest commercial airplane cockpits, typically as electronic flight bag (EFB) applications that allow calculating performance, viewing displays charts, improving taxi positional awareness, providing video flight deck entry surveillance and providing electronic access to documents.

In the automotive industry, this trend toward more-interactive and connected cars is even stronger. Drivers ― consumers ― want a user experience and connectivity similar to what they have with smartphones and tablets. Technology advances have recently made this possible. As an example, Android is becoming the platform of choice to create these new-generation in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, capable of managing in a unique integrated interface a wide range of entertainment, navigation and other vehicle functions. Apple recently unveiled the iOS in the Car standard during the opening keynote of the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (target release 2014). The company developed the standard so its iOS devices would work with manufacturers’ built-in in-car systems, with the aim of providing direct access to iOS device functionality, control and usage directly via manufacturers’ native in-car control systems.

Mobility is becoming key. So does ANSYS have any apps for it? The SCADE model-based tool suite features the automatic, one-click, generation of HMI executable applications from a single model over a variety of targets, including Android or iOS tablets and other similar devices. I’ll talk about the details in my next blog ― stay tuned!

In the meantime, I invite you to attend a free webinar on December 4th, where we’ll be showing off the SCADE LifeCycle Rapid Prototyper module — and how it works with ANSYS Simplorer. We’ll explain how to build the HMI’s and give you a demonstration of this powerful module. Register today to attend. 

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About Vincent Rossignol

Vincent Rossignol is SCADE Display and ARINC 661 Solutions Product Marketing Manager at Esterel Technologies, an Ansys group company. He has 10 years of experience as a Product Manager, in charge of the definition of the SCADE Display and ARINC 661 Solutions roadmap, in line with prospects and customers expectations (features, schedule). He is the co-founder of the ARINC 661 product line at Esterel Technologies, and an active member of the ARINC CDS Subcommittee. Vincent graduated in 2000 as engineer in computer science from SUPELEC (Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité, France) and UPV (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain).