Candera is a leading provider of HMI tools for and a development partner of clients worldwide, in the automotive as well as various other industries. We provide our client base with software services primarily in the fields of HMI development and integrated software, in the form of our in-house developed HMI tool “CGI Studio”. With ArtSpark Holdings (Shinjuku, Tokyo) as our parent company, and together with Candera GmbH (Linz, Austria), we provide HMI solutions both in Japan and all around the world.
Currently in our everyday life, there are ever-increasing cases in which we use graphic user interfaces (GUIs). The need to both easily and flexibly create HMIs is continually growing in the field of meter clusters, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems and heads-up displays (HUDs). This demand is also projected to expand to the home appliance and building automation markets, as well as the manufacturing and health care industries. In accordance with this, the user group for HMI tools, in addition to the expectations in regard to HMI development software will also increase.
Reinhard Füricht, the CEO of Candera, had the following to say on the subject:
“The overall HMI creation process is currently undergoing a great shift. Up until now, specialists in a given field, such as technical artists and software engineers, have borne the responsibility of creating HMIs. However, recently people have been noticing the importance of designers and graphic artists to have a hand in the HMI development process as well. In many such cases, it is necessary for them to quickly develop fully functional HMIs, without relying on the support of a developer with expert knowledge of programming.”
With this understanding, for many years we at Candera have provided the intuitive and user-friendly HMI tool “CGI Studio”. It is equipped with ready-to use HMI controls, as well as an automated workflow and integrated state machine. Additionally, our newest version, CGI Studio 3.10, features an AI-based “Smart Importer” to further expedite the HMI development process, a Japanese language version, and other functionality to improve user experience.
CGI Studio is a software development platform used to create primarily in-vehicle 2D and 3D graphical interfaces (HMIs/GUIs). Using this scalable and hardware-independent HMI architecture software, it is possible to create all kinds of customizable 2D/3D HMIs for both the automotive industry and beyond. It is an integrated environment containing the perfect tools for design prototyping, as well as testing and fine-tuning your creations.
● Using Candera’s powerful rendering engine, CGI Studio is your one-stop solution for creating intricate 2D/3D HMIs on high-end SoCs (system on a chip). It satisfies the industry standard ISO26262 and supports high-functioning safety up to ASIL A/B. Thanks to its open architecture, it can be automated and integrated right into your company’s workflow.
● Maximally optimized for runtime and memory performance, CGI Studio is the preferred tool when it comes to developing powerful HMI solutions on embedded graphic microcontrollers (MCUs). For example, Candera has been officially certified as an HMI tool partner with Infineon Technologies AG and their TRAVEO™Ⅱ Graphic Control Family.
● With CGI Studio, all users working on a given project can check changes to the design in real time (What You See Is What You Get). In addition, by adding animations and doing direct simulations in the tool’s environment, one can easily respond to ever-changing market trends and customer demands.
● CGI Studio 3.10 now supports the world’s largest type foundry in the form of the Monotype iType® and Monotype Spark™ font engines. Monotype Spark™ uses a font engine optimized for limited resource environments to offer quality characters one would see on a smartphone, capable of supporting any kind of character size and display resolution.
Yet another notable feature of CGI Studio 3.10 is Smart Importer, which uses an AI detection algorithm to allow for a speedier HMI creation process. It was developed such that anyone can easily create superb HMI solutions, regardless of their background in programming.
While standard HMI design tools require the user to manually add functionality to each element in an imported UI artwork, by using CGI Studio’s Smart Importer, this process gets handled automatically. The designer can easily import UI artwork made in Adobe®Photoshop, Sketch, or Axure®RP into CGI Studio. Smart Importer then detects relevant components such as meters, sliders, and buttons, and automatically maps the imported graphic designs to the proper functions. By doing so, the designer can import fully functional HMIs rather than simply static bitmaps and text layers. Smart Importer not only allows for the integration of layers to optimize memory usage, but also enables the importing of multiple scenes and preset HMI elements all at once. Furthermore, a prototype can be made with animations, databinding, and enhancements to logic added to the design. This prototype can then be tested live in CGI Player, without the need of a target board. After this more designs can be imported again, and the HMI can be updated immediately. Up until now, such ease of testing without the need to deploy to a target board had not been possible.
Maki Maemoto, the vice president of Candera Japan, had the following to say about Smart Importer:
“Smart Importer uses a revolutionary AI detection algorithm to convert UI artwork into fully functional HMIs, without the need for complicated coding on the part of the user. We have simplified the creation process as much as possible in order to greatly reduce the time needed to create HMIs and improve designer productivity.”
Using this unique and revolutionary import technique, all users will be able to experience improved work efficiency and increased speed in the creation of prototypes, as well as quickly respond to constantly changing market trends and customer demands.
We at Candera have set our focus on developing an efficient tool that does not require coding on the part of the user, such that even users without programming knowledge can easily use it. In a comparative survey, it has been shown that by using Smart Importer, development time can be cut down by 40% for HMIs and up to 75% for prototypes.
Candera is participating in the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2021 Online, which runs from May 26th to July 30th. At the Candera booth, we are showcasing the latest technology in the world of automotive HMI design and embedded software. This includes the first meter cluster made with CGI Studio for an electric vehicle. This is in an effort to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.
Since the advent of the automobile in the 20th century, gasoline and diesel-powered cars have made up most of the market. However, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles have now become mainstream, and there is a projected shift towards fully electric vehicles. This change from the use of hardware, as has been the case up until now, to software in automobiles allows for greater consideration towards the environment. We at Candera strive to use our work to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, be a trustworthy corporate citizen, and help realize an overall more sustainable world.
▼The original article in "Car Technology for Next Generation 2021" (Only Japanese available)
The original article in "Car Technology for Next Generation 2021" (Only Japanese available)
Car Technology for Next Generation
Candera Japan, Inc.
Pacific Marks Shinjuku Park Side 2F, 4-15-7,
Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan