Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Agilent Releases First Ever LXI Instrument Control Smart Device App

On May 27th Agilent released the first LXI direct instrument control application for iOS based smart devices like the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The app allows you to control and monitor Agilent's popular 34972A LXI Data Acquisition Unit. The 34972A is often used for remote and / or long term DAQ applications so it is a great fit for monitoring and controlling via a mobile device. The 34972A DAQ app was developed by yours truly with some help from a colleague on Agilent's R&D software team. The 34972A DAQ app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store. A link to the 34972A DAQ app can be found below at the end of this blog post.
I also wanted to advertise an article I wrote that was published by Evaluation Engineering entitled "Controlling LXI Instrumentation With Smart Devices." The article is based on my experiences creating the 34972A DAQ app. It discusses network hurdles you face when communicating with LXI instrumentation via a smart device and some of the coding complexities you face when creating LXI instrumentation control software for smart device. The link for the article can be found below.

Finally if you are interested in getting started creating your own LXI instrument control software for the iOS platform I can send you some free code for a simple example app I created. The app is called "StarIDN." The StarIDN app will connect to an LXI instrument, send the "*IDN" SCPI command to the instrument, and display the result. If you are interested in the sample code send me an email at neil_forcier@agilent.com. You can open the sample app using Apple's Xcode development environment by navigating to the "StarIDN.xcodeproj" file in the app's folder. Downloading Xcode and running the StarIDN app in the iPhone / iPad simulator that Xcode provides is totally free. If you want to run the app on a real iOS device or submit a finished app to the iTunes App Store you will have to dish out $99. Use the following link to get started as an iOS developer http://developer.apple.com/devcenter/ios/index.action.

Click here to go to the 34972A DAQ app on the iTunes App Store

Click to go to the "Controlling LXI Instrumentation with Smart Devices" article

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