You don't need to be an engineer to see the shift in technology toward mobile. Moving the workstation from moored cubical to where it's more convenient is the ultimate goal of any spry company. Paper and pencil gave way to computers; desktops are giving way to tablets and smartphones. There are plenty of engineering apps on the various markets, and industry standardizing corporations are getting into the game -- it's time to become familiar.
Just like most “apps” on the market, the goal is for engineering applications to be as intuitive and easy as possible. Taking the precision of a big clumsy finger and letting the user refine circuits and structural design, app design companies are changing what it takes for an engineer to be effective. Dynamic, on-the-spot engineering is the future requirement. Take this scenario for example: Sit in a meeting over an electrical issue, design a circuit to defeat the problem on your smartphone, simulate it in front of everyone. The day is saved.
Click on the image below to view a slideshow of useful engineering apps.
By MuseMaze, EveryCircuit is possibly the best circuit design and simulation app on the Android market at the moment. It pulls in SPICE models of almost every component out there. Anything that can be done on a bench is in this app -- function generators, oscilloscopes. However, this app takes design to a whole new level of interactivity beyond that of even desktop apps. Watch how every component reacts in the circuit. “Adjust circuit parameters with analog knobs, and the circuit responds to your actions in real time.” A perfect app for testing designs before ever buying a single component. A must have. Free version is available.
Get it here.
We know our list isn't comprehensive. Still, we believe it's a good beginning. We're also interested in your favorites for a followup gallery. Please send your picks to me at email@example.com.
Analog Bill, On the factory floor a laptop with a 14 inch monitor should be good enough, along with one of those nasty touchpads. On the floor we are hoping to find a circuit and wire number, or examine a ladder logic rung or two, or set up a motor controller. No, I couldn't do it t all with the 2 inch screen, unless I had my magnifiers on. And folks laugh at me for that! The whole thing sounds like a marketing type concept, based on an analysis of the situations that never exist except in adventure shows on television. Those of us who are closer to reality understahnd what is involved, those separated from reality will never have a clue.
And I don't hink that I have ever written ladder code with a full sized keyboard, although the AB programmer was close.
I'm with you William K! I get aggravated just trying to view a website a tiny screen. It seems unimaginable to be scrolling around in a large schematic trying to get any useful work done. I've been an analog circuit designer for over 40 years ... my eyesight isn't razor sharp and my fingers are big. IMHO, most of the attraction of such "apps" is the gee-whiz factor ... oh, now called "coolness factor". It all sounds good, but is it really useful? And do you really need a circuit analysis program on a factory floor? Sorry, I'll take my full-size keyboard, track-ball, and 24" monitor!
Cabe, I totally agree with you this is technology world and technology is moving very fast being an engineer i myself donot carry my system or laptop every where i use my smart phone i have apps downloaded and its really very easy . New generation usually uses these smartphones or tablets and likewise technologies more than the systems because they consider tehm easy to use .Obviously one has to use these technologies carefully but every produt has its features and specification . It is not correct to say that we cant use such technology everywhere .
Just curious, I realize the very simple circuit shown is just an example, but I have to wonder if such a small platform could support a more typical simulation with maybe 50 or so active and passive components, and whether complex device models can even be added. Put bluntly, is this really just a toy?
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.