That's good news for Ottawa's Crank Software, which provides a tool suite allowing designers and embedded engineers to create rich user interfaces.
People don't want standard buttons anymore, says Crank Software co-founder Jason Clarke. They want touch screens and custom graphics.
"If you look at the market, everybody's putting on an LCD screen. Your washing machine, your fridge. Things you never thought you'd want an interface for, now you do," he says.
Crank Software's tools are used to create touch screens for diverse products such as car dashboards, medical devices, infotainment systems and GPS devices.
The company's success is due to the increasing popularity of the burgeoning technology - adding a touch screen is an easy way to rebrand a product, Mr. Clarke says, and allows companies to add new features quickly and easily with software, instead of redesigning the whole product to add hard buttons.
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While other companies are operating in the same space as Crank Software, no giants have emerged.
"There isn't really a company that threatens us," says Mr. Clarke, who serves as the firm's vice-president of marketing and sales. "The market is there, it's growing and there's not enough people to fill it. It'll be how much of the market share we can grab because I don't see the market evaporating."
The tool suite allows user interface designers and embedded engineers to work together on projects, instead of the designer just passing along blueprints to the engineer who traditionally does it all. This allows the designer to remain involved throughout the entire process, Mr. Clarke says.
If you look at the market, everybody’s putting on an LCD screen. Your washing machine, your fridge. Things you never thought you’d want an interface for, now you do. - Co-founder Jason Clarke
One of the company's earliest clients was Paradigm Electronics, a Canadian amplifier manufacturing company with a research centre in Ottawa. Since then, it has worked with approximately 100 clients, including many recognizable names that Mr. Clarke would not identify.
This year, the company plans to expand its distribution channels to include European and Asian markets.
Year founded: 2007
Local head count: 13
Product/service: Tool suite for creating graphical user interfaces
Revenue growth: 84.5%