Human Machine Interface HMI

 Human Machine Interface HMI: 5 latest trends

Whether in healthcare, industry, administrative facilities or other areas: so-called Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are used everywhere - in vending machine operation, machine control and more. Interaction between humans and machines is part of everyday life, driven by new technologies and increasing digitalization. The requirements are obvious: easy-to-understand operation and precise information presentation on the displays used. What sounds simple is an art in itself when it comes to implementation: In this blog article, we show which current trends are shaping the development of HMIs. And which requirements successful HMI concepts will have to meet in the future.


Trend 1: Hygiene

It is not only in healthcare that the hygiene aspect for HMIs is essential. For example, operating units must be completely disinfectable. This is a requirement that affects the materials used. Another basic requirement is that the installation should be as seamless as possible, avoiding edges where dirt can collect. 


Trend 2: Alternative operating concepts

A great deal has happened in recent years in terms of interaction options: touch screens, remote touch systems with operation via smartphone, control via speech and gestures. The goal is to find the optimal interaction option between user and device for every application area and every environment.


Trend 3: Customizable software

A must - especially with regard to sustainability in the sense of a long service life for devices: Via suitable software, HMIs can be adapted and modernized to changing circumstances. Functions are added, changed, removed or temporarily permitted. Developers are thus able to optimize the devices while they are in operation. The trend is towards "HMI from a single source", including complete interface to the operating system, integration into overarching IoT devices, certifications, documentation and much more. An important step towards individual HMIs - if the development department implements the "customizable software" component from the very beginning. 


Trend 4: Increasing computing power

HMI components with new technologies and high bandwidths pose special and sometimes very complex challenges for developers, especially when it comes to PCB design. After all, this is the only way to ensure the flawless function and stability of the HMI over the entire temperature range. What should also be taken into account: New interfaces also have an impact on hardware design. Screen resolution, processor performance, camera and microphone connections: A comprehensive analysis of all processes in the devices is an absolute must for the hardware design of an effective HMI.


Trend 5: Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

A new generation of processors enables the implementation of a "Neural Network Engine": Here, a part of the processor only takes care of the execution of machine learning algorithms. This is a topic with many opportunities, but it also gives rise to discussions. One example: Is it permissible to place a coffee machine in a public environment that uses integrated artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate faces? And which then offers an espresso to someone who looks particularly tired? How sensible or even encroaching such applications are regarded is a matter of individual attitude. But it is certainly also a matter of a country's data protection regulations. Another example from the industrial sector: A rotating component in a machine is monitored via microphone and AI - error and warning messages are then issued via the control unit as required. Here, too, the issue of data protection comes into play. This trend therefore poses a particular challenge for developers in virtually every application: From the outset, they must take into account which legal rules and guidelines they must not exceed.


Human Machine Interface: The most important requirements

Future requirements are derived from the trends. Because the experts agree on one thing: The machine function no longer consists of pure component control. It can do much more and now also includes monitoring and analysis of production and performance data. Users expect modern HMIs to meet a whole range of requirements:


  • Environmental compatibility and sustainability: long service life, even when used in harsh environments. 
  • Aesthetics: The better the look and feel, the more efficient and productive the HMI. The focus is on high resolutions, strategically used color schemes, well thought-out quality icons, design templates and navigation - especially when changing screens.

  • Efficiency: Software solutions with layout and template functions for rapid development of better interfaces. Integration with the operating system is achieved via dual IP connections.

  • Connectivity: Flexible connectivity with different panel sizes, touch screens, keypads. 

  • Interaction: Mobile human-machine interfaces become important, flexible productivity tools.

veröffentlicht am : 2022-11-04 08:00