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The Importance of Small Footprint HMI Software for Embedded Systems

According to a recent GIA global report on the embedded systems market, this market is expected to reach $222 billion by 2018. Many factors are driving this trend, such as cheaper, more powerful processors, but the main driving factor of the global embedded market is the demand for smart devices.

What is a Smart Device? A smart device is typically a small system within the architecture of a larger system that is designed to independently execute specific functions. The systems controlling smart devices, embedded systems, rely on both hardware and software components. A device becomes a smart device when the embedded system is integrated with a larger system capable of sending and receiving data. The most ubiquitous examples of smart devices in the current consumer market are the smartphones and tablets many consumers already use.

Why is a small footprint HMI software important for embedded systems? Because embedded systems rely on software for integration into larger systems, the software components of the device cannot outstrip its processing capabilities. In industrial examples, such as embedded panel PCs used as machine HMI panels, many HMI software platforms are too large to be effectively used in the machine, which may limit its capabilities. That’s why InduSoft CEView and InduSoft EmbeddedView were created. The small footprint of the InduSoft HMI software allows it to reside effectively on embedded devices under 50 MB, and InduSoft CEView operates on Windows CE at 27 MB. This means that the software can be loaded directly onto the hardware, opening up the full range of capabilities for customization and integration.

For devices where remote access to a larger HMI is necessary, web browsers may also be used to provide access to embedded systems on smart devices. InduSoft’s Enhanced Studio Mobile Access client makes it possible to view and interact with graphics and screens on HTML5 compatible web browsers. This includes the most popular browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, enabling operators to view and interact with their applications on smart devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones and tablets.

As hardware manufacturers are increasingly pressured to include full solutions with their products, it’s important to leverage the flexibility of a small-footprint HMI software, capable of residing on small, efficient machines.

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