Thursday, August 21, 2014

Improve interface development & expand mobile device support for mobile operators!

Web-based mobile operator interface software groov 2.2 improves screen design tools and options, expands real-time trending, and adds custom views for mobile devices.

A significant update to the company’s groov web-based mobile operator interface software, groov version 2.2, has been announced by Opto 22. groov makes it simple to build and use effective, scalable operator interfaces on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices so that authorized users can monitor or control almost any automation system. It adds and improves dynamic screen objects (gadgets), expands real-time trending gadgets with multiple pens and data buffering, and makes several time-saving tool improvements to the screen-building and editing environment. The software also improves the ability to customise separate screens for PCs and mobile devices in the same groov project, so the best interface is used for each size platform. It lets industrial automation end-users, system integrators, machine OEMs, or any authorized person quickly and securely manage automation, building, and other control systems from a mobile device.

groov 2.2 screen gadgets include a new Momentary Button gadget that works like a normally-open/normally-closed mechanical button, writing a value once when it is pressed and once when it is released. The Momentary Button gadget is useful in applications where a push-hold-release button is well suited for a task such as jogging a drive feed or panning an IP camera.

The groov Trend gadget has been significantly expanded to extend real-time trend durations to seven days and to use up to four pens per chart. Longer update rates allow users to build trends to meet their specific needs, and trended data is now buffered. This buffered data can survive a reset or power outage, ensuring no trend data is lost, which can be critical in applications or environments where viewing long data trends is vital.

groov Build, groov’s interface development tool, adds multiple new color backgrounds for screen design, including several dark backgrounds up to black. Darker backgrounds generally produce less glare when an interface is used in environments with dim lighting. Along with these new background choices, on-screen gadgets, text, and other objects now automatically change color for best visibility on the current background. This greatly speeds up interface development because the screen developer/designer can quickly test many different background colors without needing to change any on-screen objects.

Also in groov Build are improvements for editing objects and gadgets, including new sizing handles, easier selection of z-order (depth) for on-screen objects, and a new Edit menu that puts related commands in one place. Together, these improvements can reduce the time to build interfaces by up to 50%.

Custom Views for Mobile Devices
groov interfaces are used on many different devices, from compact, handheld smartphones to large wall-mounted TVs. When an operator interface is built in groov Build, two screens are created simultaneously: a larger screen intended for a PC or tablet, and a smaller screen for a smartphone or similar mobile device. Both large and small screens include the same objects and gadgets by default, and gadgets can be individually positioned and sized for best use on the large or small screen.

New in groov 2.2, objects and gadgets can be included in one size screen but omitted in the other. For example, a real-time trend can be included on the large PC/tablet screen but not on the smaller smartphone screen, customizing the operator interface for either size device. In another example, a large, horizontally-oriented graphic can appear on the large PC/tablet screen, while a smaller, vertically-oriented version of the same graphic appears on the smaller screen. This new feature provides a level of screen-building customization and utilization never before offered in an operator interface product.

Additional Improvements in groov 2.2

  • groov 2.2 includes other improvements and new features:
  • groov software automatically checks for new software updates from Opto 22. (Internet connection required.)
  • The Video gadget can be resized while keeping the proportions (aspect ratio) of the original video source. The Video gadget can also be reduced to a very small “thumbnail” size, with or without keeping the same proportions.
  • “On” and “Off” values displayed in a Value gadget can be customized with labels like “Open” and “Closed” that may be more meaningful in specific applications.
  • When a new gadget is created, its label automatically uses the name of the tag to which it’s connected. This feature saves time when building screens.
See also our report: "Operator interface that just works, Mate!" (Aug 2013)

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