Human-machine interface (HMI) is the term used to describe the field that includes both software and hardware components that allow humans to interact with machines. It covers a variety of applications that can be used in both personal and professional settings. In this article, we will explore the human-machine interaction definition and use cases, the components, trends and more.
HMI was born out of the need to develop more user-friendly interfaces for computers. It incorporates elements from a variety of different disciplines, including psychology, ergonomics and cognitive engineering. The term was first invented by Douglas Engelbart, who believed that humans could be taught to use computers with the help of well-designed interfaces.
HMI terminals, also known as operator interface terminals (OIT) are an example of human-machine interactions. They are also known as local operator interfaces (LOI), or man machine interfaces (MMI). These devices communicate with PLCs within automation systems, and translate input and output data to digital dashboards and facilitate control. They also facilitate real-time data acquisition in order to display and manage alarms. HMIs are found in gas stations, ATMs, self-checkout lines and manufacturing facilities.
A touch-sensitive display is a different type of HMI that interprets user gestures to perform commands. This technology is found in tablets and smartphones that have touchscreens built-in. They're now websites part of our everyday lives. Recent advances in the field of human-machine interaction include pre-touch sensing that anticipates a user's intentions and performs an action before the user gives the command.