Development framework for smart devices

Helping companies overcome the difficulties of developing and managing smart devices, BSQUARE Corporation has announced its Pivot 360 framework.

BSQUARE’s Pivot 360 framework incorporates the key elements required to implement, deploy and manage a vast network of smart devices. The framework includes hardware designs, device software, software designs and test tools and remote device management software.

Using the framework, BSQUARE believes that companies can mitigate the risks associated with developing and deploying their own smart device solutions.

Creating smart device systems often poses unique challenges. Few companies have a combination of internal design capabilities, device hardware and software to develop smart devices, as well as manage and maintain them once they are deployed. Acquiring and integrating the components can be time consuming and costly, preventing companies from taking advantage of critical market windows and achieving return-on-investment goals.

With the Pivot 360 framework, companies can leverage the core technology and building blocks developed by BSQUARE for multiple smart device solutions. This gives developers more time to concentrate on customisation and value-added features for their customers, while maintaining cost and schedule goals.

For even faster development time, BSQUARE has integrated the Pivot 360 technologies into solutions with clearly defined hardware and software components presently available for end applications such as Windows-based terminals, Web telephones, and Telematics. Additionally, BSQUARE offers customisable generic Internet appliance kits for a variety of horizontal and vertical markets. These complete solutions enable OEMs to get non-customised products ready for manufacturing in less than two months.

The BSQUARE Pivot 360 includes pre-engineered and pre-qualified hardware solutions that provide OEMs with a working, customisable hardware platform. The SmartBuild Product Design Packages include all the hardware and software components necessary to build a Windows CE-based Information Appliance in any form factor, ranging from the smallest handheld devices to larger information kiosks. This enables OEMs to start with a chosen form factor and spend development time adding value-added features.

If companies want to customise hardware or add additional applications, the Pivot 360 includes device driver toolkits with source code and device driver wizards to ensure that the software and hardware function together. BSQUARE’s Device Driver Toolkits, WinDK and WinRT, provide source code, code samples, and Device Driver wizards to develop device drivers and hardware control programs. The toolkits work several different operating systems, including Windows CE, and are offered in different are versions to support add-ons such as USB and Bluetooth technology.

The BSQUARE Pivot 360 includes a software architecture that gives OEMs full control over the look, feel, and functionality of their User Interface (UI). iWin Information Appliance Design Kit (iWin) includes all the technology needed to configure user interfaces on Information Appliances. It also includes the remote management and remote update agent technology that needs to be installed on clients devices for them to be managed remotely.

iWin allows OEMs to design unique interfaces that are tailored to specific customer needs. The graphical look-and-feel is designed using standard HTML editors while the application interactions are implemented using JScript. The Pivot 360 extends JScript with additional APIs that provide access to OS Shell functions, event notification, and keystroke capture.

OEMs can even design a generic UI and then allow ISPs, VARs, and other partners to customise the device by making modifications to the UI. When combined with BSQUARE’s updating and management technology, OEMs can update or reconfigure the UI over the Internet.

BSQUARE’s server and application tools allow OEMs to build remote update and remote management agent capabilities into any Information Appliance. The combination of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ technologies allows OEMs, corporate IT departments, and ISPs to remotely manage Information Appliances and other thin client devices in the field.

A Remote Device Administrator (RDA) functions as the server component of the Pivot 360 and enables companies to push content and program updates to remote devices. With RDA, companies can also track and monitor enterprise-wide deployments, view or set device configuration settings, and initiate or schedule updates to the remote device. Pull technology allows devices to get updates, such as operating system updates, applications, stock quotes and news, from a remote server.

The Pivot 360 also includes automated testing tools for every stage of Information Appliance development – from device design to manufacturing testing and application verification – to guarantee that the Pivot 360 technology works to highest quality standards.

The Pivot 360 testing tools operate on a common user interface and execute more than 9,600 individual pass/fail tests in more than 150 pre-configured test suites designed to automatically evaluate each function in a device driver. For application verification, the Pivot 360 can create test scripts, generate test source code, and test for user interface issues; no complex programming is required and generated results are viewable in a graphical interface.

The BSQUARE Pivot 360 enables device-to-device, device-to-server, and server-to-device communication via Bluetooth technology. The Pivot 360 also includes all the primary communication protocols required for Information Appliances to connect with servers and exchange data over LANs and WANs. ISPs and content providers can access devices to update them with data from outside sources or remotely manage devices with new software updates.

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