HMIIIoTSmart Home

What is HMI?

What is HMI?

HMI (HCI) or human-machine interaction (HMI) is the study of the interaction between systems and users. Researchers in the HCI field observe the way humans interact with computers and design technologies that enable humans to interact with computers in novel ways. Systems can be a variety of machines, or they can be computerized systems and software. The HMI usually refers to the part that is visible to the user. Users communicate with and operate the system through the HMI. As small as the play button on a radio, as large as the dashboard on an airplane, or the control room of a power plant.

The goal of HMI

HMI studies the ways in which humans use or do not use computational artifacts, systems, and infrastructure. Much of the research in this field seeks to improve human-computer interaction by increasing the availability of computer interfaces. There is growing debate about how exactly usability is understood, how it relates to other social and cultural values, when it can and when usability may not be a desirable property of a computer interface.

HCI’s goal is to produce usable and safe systems, as well as functional systems. In order to produce a computer system with good usability, researchers must try and understand:

  • Understand the factors that determine how people use technology
  • Understand the factors that determine how people use technology
  • Develop tools and techniques to enable building suitable systems
  • Achieve efficient, effective, and safe interaction
  • Put people first

Underlying the whole theme of HMI is the belief that people who use computer systems should come first. Their needs, abilities, and preferences for performing various tasks should guide the way developers design systems. People shouldn’t have to change the way they use the system to fit in. Instead, the Design of the system should meet the needs of people, that is, User-Centered Interaction Design.

HMI research focus

Much of the research in the field of HMI focuses on the following areas:

Methods for designing new computer interfaces that optimize the design for desired attributes such as learnability, discoverability, efficiency of use. A method used, for example, to implement an interface through a software library. A method for evaluating and comparing the availability and other desired attributes of an interface. The approach to studying human computer use and its sociocultural implications is broader. A way to determine whether a user is a human or a computer. Models and theories of human-machine use, as well as conceptual frameworks for designing computer interfaces, such as the cognitivist user model, activity theory, or ethnomethodology of human-machine use. Perspectives that critically reflect the values underlying computational design, computer use, and HMI research practice.

The visions that researchers in this field are trying to achieve vary. From a cognitivist perspective, HCI researchers might seek to integrate computer interfaces with mental models of human activity. When pursuing a post-cognitivist view, researchers of HMI may seek to integrate computer interfaces with existing social practices or existing sociocultural values.

HCI researchers are interested in developing design methods, experimental equipment, prototyping software and hardware systems, exploring interaction paradigms, and developing models and theories of interaction.

Man-machine interface

A HMI can be described as a point of communication between a human user and a computer. The flow of information between people and computers is defined as an interactive loop. There are several aspects to the interaction loop, including:

Visual Based Human-computer interaction (HCI) Visual Based Human-computer interaction (HCI) is probably the broadest area of human-computer interaction (HCI) research. Audio Based interaction between computers and humans is another important area of HCI systems. This area processes information obtained from different audio signals. Task environment: Conditions and targets set for the user. Machine environment: An environment in which computers are connected, such as laptops in college students’ dormitories. Areas of the interface: Non-overlapping areas involve human-machine processes that have nothing to do with human-machine interaction. At the same time, overlapping regions are only concerned with processes related to their interaction. Input flow: The flow of information that begins in the task environment when the user has a task that requires the use of his computer. Output: The flow of information generated in the machine environment. Feedback: Loop through the interface, evaluating, adjusting, and confirming the process from human to interface to computer. Fit: This is the match between the computer design, the user, and the task to optimize the human resources needed to complete the task.

Current research focus topics

User customization

End-user development research shows how average users can routinely customize applications to their needs and invent new applications based on their understanding of their domain. As they gain deeper understanding, users may increasingly become an important source of new applications at the expense of general-purpose programmers with systems expertise but little domain knowledge.

Embedded computation

Computing is moving beyond computers into every object for which it can find a use. From computerized cooking equipment to lighting and sanitation equipment to blinds to car braking systems to greeting cards, embedded systems can enliven the environment with almost no computational and automated processes. The expected difference in the future is increased network communication, which will allow many embedded computations to coordinate with each other and with users. The HMI of these embedded devices will in many cases be completely different from the HMI of the workstation.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality refers to the concept of layering relevant information into what we know about the world. Existing projects display real-time statistics to users performing difficult tasks such as manufacturing. Future work may include enhancing our social interactions by providing additional information about the people we talk to.

Social computing

In recent years, the explosive growth of social science research has been based on interaction as a unit of analysis. Much of this research comes from psychology, social psychology and sociology. For example, one study found that people expect a higher price for a computer with a man’s name than a computer with a woman’s name. Other studies have found that although people behave the same way about these computers, they feel more positively about their interactions with humans than they do with humans.

Knowledge-driven HCI

In HMI, there is usually a semantic gap between human and computer understanding of common behavior. Ontology, as a formal representation of domain know-how, can solve this problem by resolving the semantic ambiguity between the two parties.

Emotions and HMI

In HMI, research examines how computers detect, process, and respond to human emotions, thereby developing information systems with emotional intelligence. The researchers propose several “impact detection channels.” The potential for telling human emotions in automated and digital ways lies in increasing the efficiency of human-computer interaction. The impact of emotions on human-computer interaction has been studied in areas such as the use of ECGs for financial decisions and organizational knowledge sharing using eye tracking and face readers as emotional detection channels. In these areas, it has been shown that emotion detection channels have the potential to detect human emotions, and that information systems can incorporate data obtained from emotion detection channels to improve decision models.

Brain-computer Interaction. Brain-computer interaction

A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication path between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device. BCI differs from neuromodulation in that BCI allows two-way information flow. BCI is usually designed to study, locate, assist, enhance, or repair cognitive or sensorimotor functions in humans.

Important academic conference on HMI

One of the major conferences on HMI is the annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, often referred to simply as CHI(pronounced kai, or khai). CHI is organized by the ACM Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction (SIGCHI). CHI is a large conference attended by thousands of people, with a wide range. The conference was attended by scholars, practitioners and industry figures, and was strongly sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Bloomberg, PayPal, Apple, IBM, Ali, Baidu, Huawei and other companies.