Guide to selecting a CANbus Display
Getting a new CANbus display unit can be an important and exciting decision; perhaps the client is looking for a simple system interface which they can buy off the shelf or they are hankering for an innovative infotainment solution with all the bells and whistles. Whatever type of CANbus display unit they require, they have hopefully put some thought and planning into it in order to ensure that what they end up with is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and future proof.
As an OEM (original equipment manufacturer), finding out what is in the head of the client, and how that relates to a physical display unit is key to a successful project.
This means that arguably, the most important part of the entire process is the consultation meeting with UI/UX designers and the client to identify what they would like as well as how plausible these requirements are. Normally the consultation stage has five steps.
- Requirements – This is an opportunity to identify the challenges the client is facing, and what they would like to achieve with their display unit.
Whereas some clients know exactly what they want, others are not so sure or have conflicting ideas. If this is the case the application engineering team can help them focus their ideas and goals into something that is achievable.
There are a series of questions you can ask the client to focus their requirements, which include but are not limited to:
- What do you want the display to do?
- What devices do you need to have connected?
- Do you want analog or digital?
- What compatibility requirements do you need?
- What finish would you like?
- What ranges (US/European) do you need?
- What industry will the display be used in?
- Who will be using it?
- What conditions will it be used in?
- Determining inputs and outputs – Once the requirements are understood and clarified, it’s necessary to investigate what format the data will be in and how it will be sent to the display unit:
- Does the display need to communicate with other devices on the network, and how will it do this?
- What format will the data log take and how will alerts and alarms be presented?
- Will the new unit be connected to legacy devices, if so what are they?
- Choosing the hardware – Here at Veethree we have an extensive range of displays with differing input capabilities and touch screen or keypad operations, so the next step is to guide the clients through the hardware selection process. By investigating functionality, IP ratings, suitability for specific environments and suitability for their particular requirements the most appropriate hardware can be selected.
- Requirements document – The goals for the finalized display unit will then be entered onto a requirement form which will be signed off by the clients and designers to ensure there is no confusion of expectations at any point of the process.
- Review of requirement document – Here at Veethree, we review the requirements to ensure that the goals are feasible based on our extensive experience designing bespoke displays in a variety of industries.
Once everything has been signed off the design team then starts working on putting the CANbus display unit together according to the specification.
Using the requirement document, the UI/UX team will create a demonstration of what the display unit will look like while modelling the functionality and user options available. At this stage the design is flexible, so there is generally more collaboration with the client at this point in the process.
The design team will work on the HMI (Human Machine Interface) with the user in mind, taking into consideration the conditions the display will be operating in, what speeds, weather conditions (bright sunlight, very cold or wet), whether the users will be wearing gloves as well as the data the users need to access. By identifying what is essential data and what can be shown on subsequent screens will improve the user experience and make the finalized device more in line with the users’ expectations.
At this stage as at Veethree we have a number of options available for the customer, we discuss the viability of pre-loaded software if appropriate, completely bespoke software or even providing the tools so the customer is able to self-develop, depending on what they require and the experience they want.
Throughout the process the design team will be collaborating with the client, to ensure they are working from the same page, enabling the client to tweak the design according to their specific requirements.
Once the client has signed off the final design the software designers can then get to work creating the bespoke software.
Before the finished product is handed over to the client it should go through rigorous bench testing to ensure that the device works in different environments, including the customer’s, and in different conditions.
This process will provide an early indication of any performance issues, bugs, vulnerabilities, or design flaws which will then be troubleshooted and re-tested before the finished product is signed off.
Handing over the finished display unit is not the end of the relationship between Veethree and the client. We continue to work with them as an extension of their engineering team creating a long-term partnership ensuring they get the best use out of their hardware.
Once they have started using the display, if they aren’t happy with the layout or the user experience on some of the features we will do all we can to solve these problems and improve the usability.
Regarding ongoing software development and futureproofing of the display we offer three options, according to the client’s requirements.
- The Veethree engineering team develop the software and pass it back to the customer.
- Our in-house team can manage the whole software lifecycle.
- The client is able to develop the software themselves using our SDK.
We have a range of CANbus embedded Linux displays and are able to custom build software applications to requirement, supply preloaded industry standard applications, or give customers the software tools to self-develop.
But when a client starts working with Veethree on a CANbus digital display it is the start of a long-term relationship where we do whatever we can to provide them with the equipment they need.
To find out more about our bespoke display services head over to our website or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.