iX Talk

Future of Windows Mobile for HMI
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Author:  wlederer [ Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:18 am ]
Post subject:  Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

What Beijer Electronics think about future of Windows Mobile OS? Are they going to use it for the future development or consider migration to other platform? If yes, which one?
regards, Waldemar

Author:  Jeremy [ Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

That is a very interesting question. One of the aspects of my job is that I am constantly scanning the horizon for new and upcoming technologies that will help us meet the needs of our customers. That most certainly includes looking for new options concerning operating systems.

The question you posed, as asked is certainly no. But that is only because we have never used Windows Mobile on our devices. Windows Mobile is Microsoft's phone operating system (prior to Windows Phone 7) and is not available or appropriate for our industrial HMI hardware. Windows CE (aka Windows Embedded CE and Windows Embedded Compact) is the operating system we currently use on our HMI panels. Admittedly the two operating systems are very closely related.

The Windows Embedded ecosystem currently provides a good mix of functionality, power and price. As embedded processors improve in power I would expect to see more options for desktop OSes to fit into the mix such as Windows Embedded Standard or even just plain Windows.

We are keeping our eyes open for other OS technologies as well. Did you have a specific one you were interested in?

Author:  wlederer [ Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

Hi Jeremy, thank You fior the answer.
Sorry for confusing Windows Mobile and Windows CE. I don't clearly understand the difference between them.
For the last years Android OS spreaded quickly.
At the www.sibochina.cn, for example, You can see panels with Android and terminals like RS232/RS485 for very attractive prices. What actually prevents to use them as HMI? If somebode will offer such solution, they can disbalance the whole HMI market.
What is Your opinion?

Regards, Waldemar

Author:  Jeremy [ Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

Android is a very interesting topic and certainly one we have our eye on.

At a glance Android seems obvious, but there are some serious concerns as well. In my experience very few customers want an industrial HMI that their employees can install Angry Birds (for example) on.

This means that any Android HMI would need to be locked down in some way so that it would only run applications produced by iX Developer (or possibly some successor to the software). Once your HMI application becomes the only application you can see and interact with on the device, some of the attractions of Android fade somewhat. Android does have better graphical libraries than Windows CE, that is obvious. But the rest of the ecosystem is not necessarily any better than CE. Most of the rest that is critical is stuff like thread management (mature in both OSes), serial communication (somewhat weak in Android), network communication (both OSes have a mature TCP stack) and custom peripheral drivers (a challenge in both OSes).

Despite this, Android is certainly something that we have been thinking about.

As far as cheap android tablet type hardware. This is again something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. In general it has not been very popular with customers because it tends to break quite easily (this is the real value of rugged products like the QTERM-A7) and if it is something that an employee knows how to use at home as an entertainment device, they have a bad habit of walking off.

That said, I do think you will start to see HMI solutions on Android over the next few years.

Author:  wlederer [ Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

Is it possible to send data from Beijer HMI panel to an Android (or other)smartphone, (for example, a database query) using bluetooth, wireless ot scanner?
If not, is it planning to achieve?
Regards, Waldemar

Author:  mark.monroe [ Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

Using script you could open up a TCP/IP connection to another computer and send data over the connection. Our Windows CE HMI's that run iX generally do not come with the necessary USB drivers to allow you to plug in a USB Bluetooth adapter.

The TxC seriers HMI's are full PC's and would allow you to install the drivers necessary to connect to a USB Bluetooth device. You would of course need to write the script code in iX Developer to communicate to the Bluetooth device and send/receive data.

Author:  andrea [ Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

I ask you if there are updates and news about this topic.

We are using Beijer iXDeveloper as HMI for tens of machines sent to our customer and evaluating to use in next future mobile devices like tablet, smartphone... as HMI.

Does Beijer permit that and how?
Or does it support only Microsoft Windows pc platform?

Thank you

Kind regards

Author:  Jeremy [ Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Future of Windows Mobile for HMI

There is no news on this topic at this time. We currently support iX on any of our iX line of panels as well as the QTERM-A7 and A12. We also support a PC version of the runtime that can run on PCs or tablets using Windows XP or newer.

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