Innovative instrument systems dedicated to navigation

Professional looking UI and better User Experiences

Founded in 1984, NKE Marine Electronics develops and sells a range of electronic measuring instruments and autopilots for cruising and competition boats. NKE Marine Electronics equips many prestigious racing boats that participate in: the America cup, the Solitaire du Figaro, the Route du Rhum, the Mini Transat, the Vendée Globe, the Atlantic Cup… NKE is located in France in the heart of the Sailing Valley near Lorient.

Challenges

NKE Marine Electronics previously developed a multi-function display with a monochrome matrix screen : the ergonomics and design of the device needed to be modernized. The goal was to upgrade the product with a more attractive and intuitive readable HMI. After considering a number of existing solutions available in the market, NKE opted for the MicroEJ solution based on providing a more user-friendly and feature-rich interface.

Then, another challenge was to be able to accomplish their goal through a small internal team and to reduce development costs. NKE wanted to develop widgets and graphical interfaces and the MicroEJ solution allowed them to use our suite of available graphics libraries.This accelerated their time-to-market while reducing development costs.

MicroEJ met NKE Marine Electronic’s 3 top expectations:

Quality of the graphical interface

The graphical interface aspect in electronic products has become very important to drive new sales and customers in every industry and especially in the sailing market.

The NKE team chose MicroEJ software solution to develop a simple, aesthetic and ergonomic user interface for end users. The positive effect on turnover was immediately felt. NKE has attracted new customers after adding new Graphical User Interface (GUI) functionality to its products that enhanced the precision of its measurements. End users have shown more confidence by using NKE products and their advance functionality.

Reduce the product development time generating better productivity

The first-generation NKE product “the Multigraphic” was a black and white display taking one year to develop. Now thanks to MicroEJ SDK tools the new color multi-graphic device with advanced widgets and effects was developed much quicker. It only took 7 months to achieve all the electronics, software platforms and complex GUI.

For their second product “the Multidisplay”, NKE saved time in the development process thanks to:

  • MicroEJ’s software platform abstraction layer to simulate changes in the processor
  • Reusing 100% of the software code from the black and white version
  • MicroEJ reduce the software and electronic complexity thanks to the simulator and software virtualization, even if a new and more powerful microcontroller was chosen. MicroEJ’s software platform is hardware agnostic
  • The MicroEJ virtual device simulator allows parallel development of hardware and GUI, without wasting time waiting for either, as usually happens with other types of solutions.

Long-lasting product over time

The maintenance aspect of the software over time was also a decisive factor in the choice of the solution. As the products marketed by NKE have a lifespan of more than 10 years, they were looking for a software platform which is updated regularly. MicroEJ has enabled NKE to maintain its products over time through licensing and maintenance contracts. As boat electronic instruments are constantly evolving, NKE must be able to offer updates to its customers while continuing product development, and this was another factor in choosing MicroEJ solutions.

For NKE, being able to reuse the software platform and code is a huge financial gain.

NKE Multigraphic and NKE Multidisplay features

NKE Multigraphic   NKE Multidisplay 
Nke Multigraphic NKE Multidisplay
The Multigraphic is a multifunction device which features:

  • 5.7″ LED color display
  • Wide 160° reading angle
  • Low consumption thanks to a light sensor.
  • NMEA input and monitor page
Installed horizontally or vertically, with its remote keyboard, NKE brings out its new Multifunction display capable of displaying numerical data as well as graphics:

  • 7” HD color display
  • Low consumption

MicroEJ was the perfect solution to NKE’s needs because of the optimal Graphical User Interface solution, the possibility to develop and maintain products over time and the improved productivity for engineers.

“Thanks to MicroEJ great user interface we were able to meet the demand of users who criticized our sailing instruments for not being sexy enough. We felt the effect directly on our turnover!”

Paul FRAISSE, Managing director at NKE Marine Electronics

*For informational purposes only. Information contained in this page describes a specific customer use case and is not legally binding.

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