In my last blog, I talked about the ability to control human–machine interfaces (HMIs) through mobile devices. The SCADE model-based embedded software 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. Here’s how it all comes together.
The code generated out of SCADE models is fundamentally independent from the target platform ― whether it is the hardware and associated drivers or the operating system ― as no system calls are being performed in this generated code. The portability of SCADE HMI models as executable applications is, thus, greatly facilitated, as the needs for adaptation then reside only in the main execution and interaction loops, or in the windowing system management. The always-wider adoption of international standards like OpenGL (for drawings) EGL (as the associated windowing system) also facilitates this task.
Both SCADE Display, for the design and generation of embedded HMIs, and SCADE LifeCycle Rapid Prototyper, for quick creation of simulation driving and control cockpits, natively support the automatic generation of interactive HMIs, or rapid prototyping panels, from a single input model. They do this for both Windows desktop PCs/laptops (all capable of managing OpenGL applications, either through dedicated graphics chips or motherboard built-in graphics adapters) and Apple iOS or Android-compatible mobile devices, such as smartphones or tactile tablets, through the native support of OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 (ES standing for embedded systems and being the OpenGL flavor deployed on the majority of these mobile targets).
The SCADE design capabilities of interactivity concepts at model level, as basic bricks called interactors (pointers, keyboards, interactive active areas), combined with the intrinsic independency of the SCADE generated code from the target platform provide HMI designers with virtually infinite possibilities to create multi-touch post-WIMP interfaces that can be deployed quickly on target. You can learn more about post-WIMP interfaces here.
Behaviors, interactions and modalities are not built in or hidden in the tool: Everything is designed and managed as a model! This brings both HMI developers and designers the necessary flexibility and advanced capabilities to create their own natural interfaces, based on models, without the need to know or manipulate low-level concepts, thus concentrating on their core task and providing them the needed freedom for a maximum of creativity.
Mobility does not make sense without connectivity. Both SCADE Display and SCADE LifeCycle Rapid Prototyper generated applications feature a built-in communication layer, which can be activated or not on option, allowing to establish a remote communication over the network ― typically through WiFi for mobile devices ― between the SCADE generated graphical panel and any other SCADE application, or remote simulators or testing environment. This allows, for example, driving and monitoring a real-time ANSYS Simplorer multi-domain simulation session ― possibly including SCADE generated software components ― from a tablet, via a graphical control panel designed with the built-in elements from the Rapid Prototyper widget library, without the need to write a single additional line of code or scripting!
The following SCADE HMI applications for Android and iOS are available.
- Glass Cockpit Primary Flight Display (for aerospace)
- Multi-Function Display (for aerospace)
- Driver Machine Interface (for rail transportation)
- Steam Boiler (for energy and industry)
Be sure to give them a try on your own smartphones and tablets to get a feeling of the SCADE capabilities for mobility support.