Automation Fair at home launched this morning at 8am Eastern Time, and the first thing you’ll notice on the show’s homepage is a large video player in the center of the page:

Have you ever wondered… why Automation Fair starts with a swim?

Aside from the video starting with a woman who looks like she was getting ready to take a swim (?) it was a extremely well produced and professional motivational video.

Something else I notice while watching it was, like most TV shows airing these days, I did feel a little awkward watching people in groups without masks and not social distancing. That said, it’s probably better for the longevity and reusability of the video for it to use predominately pre-covid clips.

Once the video completed, I headed over to the profile section to update my title and add an image for my avatar, after which I popped into the Media Chat room to say hello (no one was there 🙁 )

I next headed over to the Agenda section, and seeing as the keynote for the day was still a few minutes off, I read through all of the sessions for the week and added the ones of interest to my personal agenda:

One thing I liked about this process is that I was able to choose multiple sessions that were planned for the same timeslot.

Since all of the sessions are suppose to be available on demand, I think will be a good way to keep track of the ones I wanted to see so I can return later to watch them.

With several more minutes left until the opening presentation, I decided to head over to the virtual show floor to see if there were any new products of interest:

There are a few different choices here, but I choose the Product and Technology showcase which is accessed by clicking the blue, “Enter Rockwell Automation Experience,”

I looked around to see what was being shown, and as far as I could tell there wasn’t a lot of new products in my niche (PLC, HMI, Scada, and Sensors,) however I didn’t check out every kiosk as I want to try visiting the floor in VR later today.

At the time of our interview with Rockwell last month, the details about VR still weren’t being revealed, but after doing a bit of searching this morning it appears Rockwell has built three different “worlds” in the popular free AltSpaceVR app (a startup purchased by Microsoft back in 2017.

For those new to VR, Rockwell and provides an Users Guide to getting started with AltSpaceVR here.

To find out more information about VR and Automation Fair, select “Virtual Networking” under the Contact menu:

You’ll find information about attending in VR by selecting Virtual Networking under Connect

I hope to film a tour of the show in VR later today, but at this point it was almost time for the “Perspectives Day 1 – Imagine YOUR Next with Rockwell Automation” presentation to start:

During the presentation, several different presenters took turns taking about Rockwell’s focus and vision:

As advertised, this session was a very high level session which took a 10,000 foot view of Rockwell’s current vision and strategy for the future.

So obviously, if (like me) you’re more interested in new products and features, this presentation might not be you’re cup of coffee.

That said, I would recommend checking out some of today’s other sessions, some of which certainly are more product focused, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

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