The future of HMIs

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

What will human machine interfaces (HMIs) look like in the future? And how can operators themselves influence optimum use of systems by means of user-generated operational aids? The joint project 'HMI 4.0' created by Fraunhofer Institute for Labour Economics and Organisation (Fraunhofer IAO) is focusing on these questions.

In a trend study Fraunhofer IAO has identified and examined the most important areas to consider for successful human machine interaction in production. The study provides insight into ergonomic HMI design and the integration of new technologies such as social media, interaction and recognition technology.

Project Manager, Dr. Matthias Peissner from Fraunhofer IAO explained: "In the future the meaning of HMIs will go over and beyond pure monitoring and operation. HMIs will also become a platform for the team where cooperative decisions, knowledge building and problem solving can take place."

The joint HMI 4.0 project was established after the study and runs from autumn 2014 until May 2016. Companies that work with complex production equipment, machine manufacturers as well as software and technology corporations such as COPA-DATA are on board. Together they are developing how, in times of Industry 4.0, user-generated operational aids can be implemented in the HMIs of the future. The project aims to highlight the useful options of HMI design and performance from as many perspectives as possible.


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