Manufacturers’ increasing interest in products with embedded displays is one of the major demands driving growth at Ottawa’s Crank Software.
Co-founder Jason Clarke says the firm, which develops software for embedded screens and displays across a variety of devices, is having a big year. Last week, John Deere announced that Crank had won one of its supplier innovation awards for its contributions to the big green tractor company.
There’s growth at home, as well. With seven hires in the past year, Crank is sitting at nearly 30 employees today. This summer, the company will move from its current Carling Avenue offices to the first floor of the Entrust Building on Innovation Drive, where the 10,000 square feet of space will effectively double the firm’s physical footprint.
While Crank says its revenues are growing across multiple markets, Clarke says the firm is seeing its fastest acceleration in end-user devices such as appliances. As manufacturers rush to embrace the internet of things, displaying the deluge of on-screen content has meant more demand for Crank’s offerings.
“When you get to the consumer end, they’re moving at breakneck speed."
“When you get to the consumer end, they’re moving at breakneck speed,” he says.
Clarke marks some surprise at how deep the connected devices rabbit hole is going. It’s not just thermostats and security panels; more and larger screens are showing up on devices he never would’ve expected 11 years ago when the firm began.
“No longer is it just turning on your oven with a hard button; they may want to show recipes or show weather on the thermostat.”
Not that he’s complaining. As the embedded screen takes centre stage in product development, Crank is happy to play an integral role.
“How it looks and feels is so imperative to the product’s success,” Clarke says.