Last week, DMC returned to Austin for National Instruments' NIWeek. The annual conference hosted by NI that brings together NI, Alliance Partners (DMC and similar companies), and NI clients to share info on popular topics and technical details of the test, measurement & control industry. All five of our office locations were represented among the nine DMC employees who attended. In addition to the interesting technical sessions and networking, DMC had a big NIWeek giving three presentations, taking home an award, and even squeezing in some games of ping pong.
We kicked off NIWeek at Alliance Day on August 1, where DMC was honored to receive the Silver Outstanding Technical Resources award. This award is given to the NI Alliance Partner with the most Certified Architects and Developers who support NI customers in their integration and consulting projects.
NIWeek hosted several great presentations, including a session on creating effective and aesthetic user interfaces in LabVIEW. This course introduced interesting new techniques, including moving a tab control’s coordinate position in order to simulate animations (like we see on our phone/tablet applications). Attendees also saw the latest trends in user interface design, including flat and semi-flat controls as well as grid and card designed UI layouts.
DMC led three presentations at NIWeek 2016. I spoke on managing LabVIEW Object Oriented hierarchies along with Jason and Jesse. Dan gave an IoT presentation with Jon and Darren on how DMC used LabVIEW to make a myRIO (NI controller) accessible on any device with an internet connection. Finally, Jeremy, Jesse, and Steven, led a session on how DMC synchronized data collection of five high speed NI devices using FPGAs and CAN.
NI unveiled plans to completely revolutionize the LabVIEW programming language. Next Gen LabVIEW will include WPF based UI development, 1 ADK interface (think Visual Studio), a modernized ADK skin, and interactive graphical debugging tools. NI has not announced an official release date, but it was exciting to see all the upcoming advancements including zoom in/zoom out on your LabVIEW block diagram!
In terms of hardware, NI is seeking opportunity in the RF industry. They released an improved version of an FPGA powered module that is wonderful for testing RF devices. The VST is an RF device that can be programmed to communicate with and test most RF devices. The 2.0 release features 5x bandwidth improvement (1 Gb).
Looking at advancements in vision, NI announced a new version of the Industrial Controller and a teaser of a new NI branded Industrial Camera. The Industrial Controller is a powerful NI branded industrial PC tailored for vision applications. The new release boasted more rugged specifications and improvements to processing power.
Among the dozens of buzz words thrown around (IoT, Cloud, Cyberphysical, Platform, Ecosystem) Big Analog Data takes the cake. Many attendees discussed how to navigate the seemingly endless data stored in applications with analog transducers. There was some high-level discussion regarding "The Edge" of data processing. The Edge represents the movement of data anlytics away from the centralized server model to distributed smart devices.
After the sessions, DMC explored the expo floor for cool demos by other companies and NI using LabVIEW or other NI technologies.We played a fun game that some NI interns put together: hit targets projected on a screen with a nerf gun. There were vibration sensors at the four corners of the screen that the targets were projected on. Using a cDAQ, the vibration sensors recorded the time it sensed the vibration. From the time difference computed between each sensor, the program was able to triangulate (or quad-adulate) the position of the bullet hit. It then determined if you hit a target or not.
We also had the opportunity to check out the first version of LabVIEW and to hit the ping pong table!
NIWeek was a great opportunity to hang out with DMC employees from all our offices. We ate barbecue together plenty of times throughout the week and also visited Austin’s exciting 6th street where we played shuffleboard and caught up with some colleagues at NI.
Thanks for another great NIWeek!
Learn more about DMC's partnership with National Instruments.