Even though we´re still in beta phase, the interest around Qt Quick – the new Qt UI creation kit – is palpable. Companies and open source projects are picking up Qt Quick and trying it out in all sorts of apps and devices. In this first in a series of articles, we´ll take a look at one such evaluation by Cybercom Group, who tasked a developer/UI designer team to take a closer look at Qt Quick for the HMI of their touch screen enabled automotive wireless infotainment platform. Check out the video below and read the article for more.
Designer-Driven UI Development In The Fast Lane
As ‘always-on’ user connectivity behavior extends to automotive technologies, car drivers are becoming an important new target market for developers of the most innovative solutions designed to enhance our in-car journey experience. In pole position to lead some of the most intuitive new device development is Qt Certified Partner Cybercom Group with its touch screen enabled wireless infotainment platform.
Built on Embedded Linux using a combination of both C++ and Qt code development, Cybercom’s platform is already being used by several customers in advanced engineering projects and pre-build studies. By using Qt Quick’s designer-driven user interface (UI) development power, Cybercom was able to shift its primary focus towards how the interface should look and work, before using Qt Quick to build the product.
Human-Machine Interface Analysis
As special usability analysis is required for HMI (Human-Machine Interface) or UI development of any kind in the automotive sector, Once fully evolved, the company intends to port its technology to an extended range of hardware and operating systems.
Cybercom pinpointed Qt as the most appropriate tool for the platform development several years ago after identifying close synergies with the Qt roadmap. Qt Quick is received as a great next step in HMI development. Essentially, Cybercom recognized how the tools would create exciting opportunities for its UI designers and developers who were already familiar with scripting languages to use Qt and Qt Quick to create cool UIs for the automotive infotainment market.
Designer and developer cooperation
Cybercom’s Swedish development team was made up of both developers and designers who both used Qt Quick examples, the Qt community site and documentation to become proficient within just a couple of days.
“Qt Quick gives a great opportunity to think modular from the start and to set clear lines between programmers and HMI designers. All that is needed is to identify signals and data models to allow the designers and developers to get started. A great thing about this is that Qt Quick allowed the designers to deliver real code that could be integrated straight away into the project,” said Ingmar Bengtsson, CTO, Cybercom Group.
” I have to say that it is exciting to see a tool so similar to existing HMI technologies for web design and HTML development entering the Qt framework. Our programmers found the language easy to use and definitely faster in terms of process so that they were able to pull in working code from the design team itself.”
How it works
Cybercom’s automotive infotainment solution itself is a touchscreen in-car UI that works with an online application store that the user accesses from the infotainment UI or from a personal web page. Through the personal web page, the user can make customizations remotely – once the user has added music playlists, apps and other content such as location-based services to the home page, this is then synched with the car’s UI the next time the engine is started.
Qt Quick = Early Evaluation
Enthusiastic about the additional speed and flexibility its development shop was now fuelled with as a result of plugging into the Qt framework, Cybercom has highlighted the fundamental simplicity of Qt and the ability to make early evaluations of ideas using Qt Quick.
Already deployed in the early phase of at least one of its commercial projects, Cybercom envisions building an even closer relationship with Nokia Qt Frameworks and its forthcoming releases of Qt and Qt Quick itself. Keen to contribute to the open source collaboration model that Qt evolves within, the company hopes to contribute to best practice development and help establish documentation to support that cause.
Find out more about Qt Quick in the new-look Qt documentation.