The annual NIWeek conference is a favorite event for members of DMC's Test and Measurement team. Typically, team members join the conference in Austin for a few days of technical presentation, demos, announcements, and tacos.
This year, the event was reimagined as NI Connect. The free digital event experience took place on July 27 and 28. NI Connect invited engineers to check out trends in test and data analytics, see cool demos, and be the first to learn about new product announcements.
It was a totally new take from NI, which felt in line with their new branding. They even had fellow Texan Matthew McConaughey featured in the opening keynote.
NI announced that LabVIEW 2021 will be released in August. Among its updates are some new security features to prevent run-on open VIs from executing without your permission. LabVIEW will also see some usability improvements, including letting you know what VIs are still running if you attempt to close a project. Users are excited that this seemingly small issue which can be a big pain point is being addressed.
LabVIEW 2021 will focus on interoperability (support new Python versions). NI also released NI Real-time module 64-bit which was the one big remaining software package that we commonly use that wasn't 64 bit compatible. This will likely make it easier to standardize on 64 bit.
NI also updated SystemLink by improving navigation and UI design options. Simplifying the SystemLink user experience allows more test data to be analyzed and monitored. This can improve test station health and performance.
As NI President Eric Starkloff said, "Test data is what helps you understand the performance of your product or process. There are exabytes of data that are underutilized."
Per my colleague Darren Jones, "One part of the discussion about Digital Transformation that resonated with me was the importance of iteration and the continuing value of test in the Design+Prototype product process. Another was the discussion of how test data can look in the future: 'Finding test data will be more like Google search.'"
While a different experience than NI Week, I appreciated the freshness and accessibility of NI Connect. The entire NI Connect event is now available to watch. Check it out here.
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