ICS Insight Blog

ICS Insight Blog

A Blog for Application Designers and Developers

Connecting software developers and UX designers with ideas, inspiration and insight to build really cool stuff people want to use.

May 27, 2015  •  By Val Vachaev  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, C++, localization, internationalization, l10n, i18n
In this blog post, we will show an example of how to support dynamic language selection in an application using Qt. By "dynamic", I mean that the application can change the displayed language from within the application at run-time, rather than picking it up from the locale once on startup. Text or ID-Based Translations? In this example we will be using the text identifier translation mechanism, which may not be familiar to you if you have only used Qt's more common string-based translation method using the tr() method. The ID-based method (1) is described as an "industrial...
May 20, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML  •  Qt, QML, C++
According to the book C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 (1), the first public version of Qt was uploaded to the ftp site sunsite.unc.edu on May 20, 1995. This was the first public release of Qt and was identified as version 0.90. It was announced six days later on the comp.os.linux.announce Usenet newsgroup. That was 20 years ago today. In honor of that anniversary, I downloaded the oldest Qt source code I could find at download.qt.io, version 1.41 (2). I remember using Qt of this vintage, around 1999. At that time I was working at Corel Corporation on Corel Desktop Linux which was based...
Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS) is known for its expertise in user interface design and software implementation for embedded, mobile, desktop and interactive kiosk systems. Our work is visible in everything from smartphones to vending machines and medical equipment to vehicles of all sizes. What has less visibility – literally – is our low-level work with hardware, operating systems and device drivers.  A recent project related to the Internet of Things gave us a chance to highlight some of these capabilities. Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is the latest thing in high tech...
If you are not yet honing your design skills for the Internet of Things (IoT), I’m about to light your fire. I don’t generally buy into technology hype. As designers, we tend to remain calmly skeptical about incitements coming from our business and marketing departments. However, the predicted growth and market penetration of smart devices is frankly staggering. I can only imagine that user experience (UX) design skills for smart devices will be in huge demand. Before the introduction of smartphones in the early 2000’s, IoT devices were estimated at about 50 million worldwide. The...
May 15, 2015  •  By Peter Winston  •  CEO Corner  •  interactive, touchscreen, ICS, UX, ViewPoint, touchscreen interface
Here at ICS demand for our touchscreen-related services has grown by leaps and bounds. Interest in (and respect for) the skills we’ve developed over 25 years of experience has risen as organizations realize the myriad engineering and design elements to be considered that are necessary to truly deliver on a world-class touchscreen interface. The interest and appreciation is coming from both existing and new clients: Existing clients -- established storied companies with long product pedigrees -- who are transitioning their designs away from using traditional physical controls such as knobs...
Where did the buttons go?  Significant aspects of modern visual design have made a huge impact on the development of graphical user interfaces across web, mobile, desktop and embedded systems.  While flat-design holds many attractive qualities, implementation of the style has potential to undo usability principles formed through decades of extensive research in the field. The flat-design approach has gained increasing popularity for its overall simplicity in layout, color and iconography.  Although this new design trend breathes a fresh aesthetic into the digital space,...
April 29, 2015  •  By Jeff Tranter  •  Qt & QML, Raspberry Pi  •  Qt, QML. Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi 2 computer, released in February 2015, is the latest generation of Raspberry Pi hardware. It is a significantly faster machine than the original Raspberry Pi, with a new Broadcom BCM2836 system on a chip that has a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPU running at 900 MHz. The GPU is a VideoCore IV dual-core GPU, the same as on the original Raspberry Pi. RAM has been increased from 512 MB to 1 GB, and the number of USB ports from two to four. The video support is unchanged, although the composite video output is now provided via a 3.5mm TRRS jack that also provides audio out,...
Users find it frustrating and reluctantly accept the fact that connection to the Internet sometimes has glitches. Wait times are the norm. Users are accustomed to the cursor loading slowly, popping up periodically and at times needing to try a second or third time in order to connect to an online site. However, users perceive devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) differently. These new products are more black box in function than a computer, tablet or phone. The fact that a device is dependent on a connection to the Internet to operate properly is not so obvious to the user...
April 16, 2015  •  By Justin Noel  •  Qt & QML  •  Intel, automotive IVI, IVI, Qt, QML
Intel® In-Vehicle Solutions Proof of Concept - ICS High Level Design Document  Connected Technology Demand for connected devices in automobiles is accelerating as mobile ecosystems are maturing. The ability for automakers to differentiate in an increasingly competitive environment depends on their ability to integrate a smart in-vehicle infotainment system (IVI) strategy and deliver a fully connected lifestyle to consumers. The manufacturers who succeed at providing an open, scalable and easily configurable automotive IVI will be the future market leaders. Fast. Easy....
Digital signage (DS) is one of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that are invading our lives, for better or worse. I recently attended the Digital Signage Expo 2015, ₁ where I had the opportunity to lead a round table discussion on “Content Strategies for Interactive Retail Kiosks.” ₂ Why talk about kiosks at a DS conference? Interactivity, of course, is one of the cutting edge elements of digital signage. An interactive digital sign is essentially the same thing as a simple interactive kiosk. Interactivity is a natural evolutionary direction of DS technology. It’s a...

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