Archive for the ‘ui’ Category

There’s no way around it, expectations around UIs have changed dramatically with the rise of touch-friendly smartphone apps and the proliferation of sophisticated web applications (we’ve talked about it before). For 30 years, NI has empowered engineers to build UIs that look exactly like they want in LabVIEW, but it’s time to do more.

 

These new experiences are not just the result of an evolving design aesthetic for what makes a UI effective. Even more important than changing shapes and color schemes is the underlying technology that enables these new capabilities. This underlying technology is what we are investing in to enable you to meet design expectations.

 

WinForms.png

 

WinForms (Desktop)

WPF.jpg

 

WPF (Desktop)

SilverLight.png

 

Silverlight (Web)

HTML5.png

 

HTML5 Prototype (Web)

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at the evolution of UI technology over the last 30 years. From Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to Windows Forms (WinForms) to Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft has continually provided new APIs and libraries for composing UIs in Windows applications.


Over the same time period, web browser and mobile OSs such as Android and iOS have emerged as new application platforms. With each of these platforms, there has been an entire evolution of UI technologies – Java, Flash, Silverlight, and HTML5, to name a few.


Right now we are investing in two UI technologies – WPF and HTML5. WPF is hardware accelerated and based on DirectX, incorporating advanced graphical features like gradients, opacity, animation, and an advanced composition model. Simply put, with WPF we can build you stunning, theme-able controls that you can customize with artwork imported directly from Adobe design tools. We added WPF support to Measurement Studio in 2013 and are currently working to bring this technology to the rest of our software platform.


Meanwhile, HTML5 has emerged as the de facto web standard for beautiful, interactive web applications. In addition to richer graphics, HTML5 can facilitate dynamic animations and responsive layouts in combination with CSS3 and JavaScript. Very importantly, HTML5 does not require any client-side plugins like Silverlight and is supported in all modern web browsers.


We’re excited about bringing these technologies into tools like LabVIEW because of the new things it will enable application developers to do. Each brings new capabilities for native controls, such as WPF tables with mixed data types or Google Maps integrated into an HTML5 page. Controls also have the potential to be customized in new ways using vector-based graphics that can scale flawlessly to different resolutions. In addition to these advances, technologies like WPF and HTML5 bring rich ecosystems of existing controls and frameworks that can be reused by application developers.


Changing UI requirements are much more than just changes in design fashion from skeuomorphic to flat. UI technology has been evolving, and NI is investing to keep up.


What UI technologies are you excited about?

Windows 8 takes an inspired new approach to its user interface. The latest OS changes the way you'll interact with your PC—and your test and measurements. If you’re worried that this change will cause complications: don’t. For the most part, software that works in Windows 7 will transition seamlessly to Windows 8.

 

Capture.JPG

 

National Instruments has done extensive testing with our application software and hardware device drivers to ensure that customers who move to the new OS will have few problems. And in 2013, National Instruments will officially support Windows 8 as an OS option for our controllers.

There are also some great features available in this OS. One we’re most excited about for NI is the upcoming Surface Pro tablet, which will run the same version of the OS as desktop PCs. It will allow customers to plug in their USB DAQ devices and run LabVIEW applications on their tablets. The Surface Pro will release in Q1 2013.


National Instruments will also have a version of the NI Data Dashboard available for Windows RT on the Surface tablet in the next few months. Data Dashboard 1.0 for Windows RT will allow engineers to create custom dashboards to monitor LabVIEW applications remotely.

 

>> To access FAQs and an extensive white paper offering an overview of Windows 8, visit our web page.