Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: TYPE), a leading provider of typefaces, technology and expertise for creative applications and consumer devices, today introduced the Monotype Spark solution. A small, yet powerful type and technology solution, it enables designers and engineers to create a product with high-quality scalable text interfaces in low-end platforms with limited run-time memory. Now, designers and engineers can produce beautiful, legible and scalable text interfaces for products like wearables, Internet of Things and medical devices and low- to mid-end automotive clusters, without the worry of investing in additional hardware or memory.
The Monotype Spark solution is comprised of iType Spark and WorldType Shaper Spark software, and a set of optimized fonts. The iType Spark software enables designers and engineers to scale and render glyphs from TrueType font files, complete auto hinting in real time, and create monochrome and 8-bit grayscale outputs – with a run-time RAM footprint of about 20 kilobytes and a code size for an ARM processor of roughly 98 kilobytes. The WorldType Shaper Spark software enables low- to mid-end platforms to meet the market demands of supporting complex and bidirectional scripts such as Arabic, Thai and Devanagari – with a run-time RAM footprint of about five kilobytes and a code size for an ARM processor of roughly 118 kilobytes. Previously, a scalable font solution was out of reach for engineers working with a small memory footprint and CPU. The Monotype Spark solution allows designers and engineers to create low-cost, high-quality interfaces that scale and support various languages and font sizes in low run-time memory configurations.
“Today’s consumer demands a high-quality UI on their devices – whether it’s the dashboard in their car, their new wearable fitness device or medical device like an insulin pump,” said Geoff Greve, vice president of type operations at Monotype. “Until now, designers and engineers were limited in their ability to create a flexible, scalable text display in low and mid-end devices without doing a substantial amount of work or investing a lot of money in additional hardware or memory. Our new Monotype Spark solution not only makes the type on these devices more beautiful, but it also enables product manufacturers to keep development costs low and create an easy path to scale devices to support new languages and character sets in the future.”
Until now, many engineers and designers have used inflexible hard-coded bitmap solutions that require storing every character at every size for these small-mid range products. Changes to the text strings in this environment require costly rework and a lot of time. The iType Spark software is a scalable font solution that provides much greater flexibility – allowing for easy last minute changes and support for more languages, sizes and character sets, while delivering a more modern look and feel.
The Monotype Spark solution comes standard with Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic fonts and will be available for download at spark.monotype.com as pre-compiled binaries for a range of popular platforms. The binary ports are available for free evaluation. Licenses for commercial use can also be purchased directly online. Customers may also request a source code SDK if they prefer to port it themselves or make customizations.