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The human-machine interface (HMI) (also called human-computer interface (HCI) or Human-to-Machine (H2M))

is the place where the human and the machine meet. It includes how people communicate instructions to computing systems, what computing systems provide in response, and how hardware, software, systems, and devices can be designed to do more to expand human capabilities.
[is t]he hardware or software through which an operator interacts with a controller. An HMI can range from a physical control panel with buttons and indicator lights to an industrial PC with a color graphics display running dedicated HMI software.[1]
[is t]he combination of hardware and software that allows a human to interact with a machine to perform a task.[2]
consists of the following:


"An HMI can range from a physical control panel with buttons and indicator lights to an industrial PC with a color graphics display running dedicated HMI software."[4]

HMI/HCI includes software and hardware that allows human operators to monitor the state of a process under control, modify control settings to change the control objective, and manually override automatic control operations in the event of an emergency. The HMI also allows a user to configure or control algorithms and parameters in the system. The HMI also displays status information, historical information, reports, and other information to operators, administrators, managers, business partners, and other authorized users. The location, platform, and interface may vary a great deal. For example, an HMI could be a dedicated platform in the control center, a laptop on a wireless LAN, or a browser on a system connected to the Internet.

“Even when the user population is segmented by capability and interest, success in delivering services depends on the development of appropriate human-computer interfaces (HCIs). HCI issues are especially important because there is no Moore's Law on human perceptual, attentional, or cognitive/problem solving capabilities — in other words, people's abilities do not scale up at the same rapid rate that basic computing capabilities do (or, for that matter, the rate at which the total volume of information resources is growing). Thus, as Herbert Simon has observed, the scarce resource in human-computer interfaces is and will remain human attention. This is especially true in nonroutine applications such as crisis management."[5]

"HCI is an inherently multidisciplinary research area, drawing on ideas from psychology as well as computer science (and related areas such as information management). A hallmark of the field is the use of iterative user-centered design (UCD) methods to develop useful — and especially usable — systems. Current UCD methods include early focus on users and their tasks, ongoing empirical measurement and evaluation of the system, iterative design and testing, and integrated focus on the end-to-end systems that considers the larger social context in which they are deployed. HCI professionals are involved early in the design of systems and participate throughout the later stages of system development. Existing UCD methods have been found to work well when there is a limited range of users and tasks, which means that accommodating the greater diversity of individuals and applications in government will likely require extension or refinement of the approach."[6]


See also[]