Archive for the ‘labview_2013’ Category

When assessing someone’s health, medical personnel measure vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Though you may not have heard of it before, respiratory rate (RR) is possibly the most crucial, because it’s one of the key predictors of injury severity.


However, accurate measurement is essential. The two main options for RR measurement are manual observation, which is prone to error, and capnography, which is invasive. Researchers at the Institute of Space Science in Malaysia set out to build a system that was accurate, fast, and completely non-invasive.




They built a contactless RR measurement system using an optical displacement sensor and LabVIEW. Basically, they shine a laser at a subject’s chest. The light reflects back to a sensor, which measures how the light moves as the chest moves during breathing. They used LabVIEW to visualize the signals, calculate RR in real time, and store the data for later analysis.  



>> Read the full case study here.

There are many ways to access VI Server references on a LabVIEW block diagram. Here are just a few:




What do you do when you are done with these references? Do you need to close every single one of them? Does the order in which you close them matter? What if you access these references in a loop?


The answers to all of these questions and more can be found in the Closing References in LabVIEW white paper on, which provides a one-stop shop for all information regarding VI Server references and when to close them.

If you couldn’t make it to NIWeek or NIDays, clear your calendar for the end of January! Virtual NI Technology Days brings you some of the best sessions from these events in 22 free, interactive webcasts on January 28-31.




Four tracks will cover the latest in LabVIEW, embedded system design, automated test, and measurements. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions.


LabVIEW sessions include:

  • Going Mobile with the LabVIEW Data Dashboard
  • Signal Processing with LabVIEW
  • Tips and Tricks to Speed Your LabVIEW Development
  • User Interface Design Best Practices


>> See the full agenda and register for sessions.


The ability for LabVIEW to write VIs programmatically, commonly called "scripting", existed  long before it became a public feature. Users begged us to release scripting, promising that it would empower them to build wondrous applications that would change the face of LabVIEW. And so, in LabVIEW 2010, we made scripting available to everyone (it had been available through various channels for years before that). Indeed, wondrous applications followed, including a spectacular tool for simplifying the inclusion of math expressions in your LabVIEW code.

However, over the years, there have been some less aspirational uses of scripting. Here then, for your enjoyment, we've listed some of the most gratuitous scripting tools written for LabVIEW:

  • Weird Wires. From diagonal lines to spirals, this LAVA thread shows scripting's power to make wires more visually interesting. In particular, here are some VIs to show you how it is done. Unzip and open "Test". Open another VI that has a wire on it and select the wire. Then run "Test", giving it the path to your VI, the path to one of the other VIs in the .zip (I like "") and any parameters it needs (for the spiral, the zeroth element of the array is the number of loops the spiral should make). You can enjoy watching the spaghetti code in action here.
  • The LabVIEW Harlem Shake. A block diagram that dances to music.
  • Palettes in the Snow: "Snowflake" is a game written in LabVIEW to enjoy on winter days. The whole game is written using continuous LabVIEW scripting to the diagram of a non-running VI. Can you catch the nodes that are caught in the snow storm?

If you'd like to do some scripting in LabVIEW -- gratuitous or otherwise -- you can enable scripting in your LabVIEW. And if you want help (or want to show off your creation for other developers) then check out the scripting community forum.

What to do when a complex, custom piece of medical testing equipment needs a new PC but isn’t compatible with the latest Windows OS? Turn to LabVIEW, of course!

Years ago, the University of Waterloo’s Kinesiology Department built a system that simulates the forces our spinal columns undergo. Using a two-axis motion control card and an NI multifunction PCI DAQ board, the system subjects spinal column samples to compression, rotation, and torsional forces.

Essentially, the system allows us to see what our spines go through on an everyday basis, and which forces could cause injuries like painful herniated disks.


Recently, the university realized the system’s PC was old and slow, but the existing software was incompatible with new Windows software. Waterloo turned to Enable Integration, an NI Alliance Partner with 60 years of combined experience with NI products. Enable recommended LabVIEW, since it would allow the university to reuse the custom routines they’d written for their motion control board—saving Waterloo time and money.

Since the team implemented LabVIEW, the testing system has a new and improved GUI, a simplified control panel, and the ability to expand in the future. Sounds like a win to us!

>> Check out another medical LabVIEW app.

National Instruments helps engineers and scientists make sense of the world around them by allowing them to interpret massive quantities of data that they encounter in their jobs every day. We understand the value of data, and we use data to make many of our technology decisions.

In 2012, NI announced the inclusion of a new tool in LabVIEW, the Customer Experience Improvement Program. The data provided by this opt-in tool allow NI to better understand general usage patterns and trends with NI software and hardware. We can then use these data to provide better technical support and to more efficiently deliver information on service entitlements and product changes. When combined with a number of other data sets, it can also help us make decisions about product direction.

In the coming months, Microsoft will be ending extended support for the Windows XP operating system. The decade-old OS has given way to Windows 7, released in 2009, as the dominant OS in the general marketplace.

Our customers tend to have longer timelines than consumer or general business applications for OS support. To determine the right timeline for moving Windows XP off full support for NI as a company, we turned to data.

Using several different data sets, including the Customer Experience Improvement Program, Update Service, web traffic, and service requests, NI gathered a clear picture of the typical lifecycle of an OS among our customers. For example, we learned that while Windows 7 was released in the summer of 2009 to highly favorable reviews, it took approximately two years before Windows 7 surpassed Windows XP as the dominant operating system for our customer base. Since that point, XP has continued to decline asymptotically. Interestingly, Windows 8 and 8.1 appear poised to overcome Windows XP within the next few months.



With all of these data, NI made the decision to end support for Windows XP and Vista in 2016.

As we look forward, there are fascinating questions on the horizon regarding the bitness of OSs. For example, Windows 7 32-bit was recently passed by Windows 7 64-bit to take the lead among all OSs that customers use. Also, Windows 8 32-bit barely registers as a blip on the charts compared to the footprint of the 64-bit variety.

There are a lot of decisions to be made in the coming years on all these points and more. You can make sure your data are included in these sets and your use cases are represented by turning on the Customer Experience Improvement Program in LabVIEW.

LabVIEW makes Customer Experience Improvement Program options available from the Help menu. You can also navigate from the Windows Start Menu to All Programs»National Instruments»Customer Experience Improvement Program. Choose Yes, I want to participate in the NI Customer Experience Improvement Program and select OK.

We know the Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) Exam can be tough, and we want to help you succeed. We’ve put together an interactive webcast that includes:

  • Exam objectives, logistics, and resources
  • Exam format and evaluation criteria
  • Useful technical information, including development guidelines, tips and recommendations


>> Watch the webcast now.

This article was adapted from a post on the NI Community forums.


LabVIEW bookmarks are here! We announced this feature during NIWeek 2013. Now that LabVIEW bookmarks are floating around the programming world, here’s what you need to know:

1. What are LabVIEW bookmarks?

Bookmarks are a way of tagging things within a VI Block Diagram. LabVIEW now automatically identifies any text that begins with a hashtag (#) as a bookmark. Maybe you want to mark an unfinished task in one section of your code? Just write “#ToDo revise algorithm”. LabVIEW will detect the bookmark and bold the bookmark tag (the text immediately next to the # symbol, “ToDo” in this case)


2. What is the LabVIEW Bookmark Manager?

Bookmark Manager is a tool for finding all of the bookmarks in your project or application. To find it, click “View” in the menu bar, then scroll down to the “Bookmark Manager” item. You can also use  Bookmark Manager to view a specific section of your block diagram. Just double click on any bookmark entry, and LabVIEW will open the VI where the bookmark resides and highlight its location on your block diagram. 



3. The bookmark manager has an API.

The bookmark API has a open interface, which means it’s completely customizable. You can even create your own bookmark manager!

The bookmark manager API is built on the VI Server interface. You can either start from scratch, or follow these steps to copy the existing bookmark manager code. Be sure to copy the default bookmark manager instead of modifying the original so that you can return to the working original if something goes wrong.


4. There are two ways to get VI bookmarks.

The first way, the VI method, allows you to return all bookmarks within a certain VI. This method works for all VIs in memory, not just those that have been saved to disks.

The second way, the application method, uses a VI path to access all bookmarks in an application class. This works for any VI on disk, even if they haven’t been loaded into memory.


5. Your bookmark manager is shareable.

Give your bookmark manager the chance to be famous! Share your bookmark manager to the LabVIEW Tools Network as a free download or paid product.

Alternatively, you can distribute your bookmark manager dialog to your team using the VI Package Manager. This allows your users to immediately install the files in the right directory and mass compile the VIs to the current version.

Do you have other tips about LabVIEW bookmarks? Comment and share your advice.

>> Learn more about LabVIEW bookmarks.

During NIWeek this year, the LabVIEW Tools Network Awards recognized the top achievements in add-on software and hardware. Five companies received product of the year awards for LabVIEW add-on development in automated test, embedded control and monitoring, data acquisition, LabVIEW innovation, and community (free downloads).

lvtn awards.jpg


>> Learn more about the LabVIEW Tools Network.

At NIWeek 2013, we  announced the latest and greatest version of LabVIEW. With LabVIEW 2013, our R&D team focused on three areas: integrating access to the latest technologies that make systems better, enhancing the environment so developers are more efficient, and providing access to an ecosystem of training and partner tools. But we know that the list of new features and improvements can be overwhelming. That's why we made a one-minute overview video that tells you exactly what's changed.

labview 2013 logo.jpg

We'll also soon be recording a one-hour, comprehensive overview of the great new stuff in LabVIEW 2013, so look for that later this month!


>> Watch the  video now.