Monday, January 2, 2012

HMI - Human Machine Interface

HMI (human machine interface) is the space where humans and machines connect and it’s getting  a whole lot more sophisticated. The HMI can be as simple as a keyboard or mouse, or as complicated as a biometric devise that unlocks certain controls. But now technological breakthroughs in science are making ground breaking advances on new user interface systems that include gesture based hmi. This type of advanced hmi enables movement from the users hand to interacts with the computer in much the same way as a keyboard or mouse. This opens up another leap in technological advancement that puts us ever closer to the intersection of man and machine.

Gesture based HMI enables the user to interact more naturally with the computer creating a tighter integration between man and machine. Imagine waving your hand at the computer to signal it to turn on, or pointing your finger toward a numerical key pad to enter a password. You don’t actually have to imagine this technology anymore. Not only is gesture based hmi real, it’s available and it’s relatively inexpensive.

Texas A&M researcher and scientist Dugan Um, has released several different gesture based hmi models that range from a couple hundred dollars to $400. These HMI devises are basically very sophisticated cameras that take 3D pictures of the users actions (such as hand movement), interpret the movement, and send the information to the computer. This results in a true gesture based hmi system where the user is literally controlling the computer with movement.

These Human Machine Interface models all come with software and are ready to go for home based computers. Of course they will appeal to technology enthusiasts, but the practical applications are boundless. Industrial equipment can be operated with more safety and precision, gaming can be taking to a more realistic level, computers can be accessible to people with certain disabilities. The possibilities are endless. These gesture based recognition hmi systems make it possible to point a finger at a computer screen and have the curser move wherever the finer is pointing. This will eventually make the mouse redundant.

One can imagine the uses of HMI extending to sign language recognition, assistive robotics, totally immersive gaming technology, remote controls that can’t be lost. Regardless of the uses for gesture based HMI, the technology is here and it’s going to stay.

Previous attempts at gesture based hmi devises typically came with some aspect that made them impractical, such as wired gloves or other attachments that had to be worn.  Others lacked proper distance control. The new advanced hmi systems from Dinast are based on a 3D visualization system using smart cameras that actually recognizes human hand gestures for both home and industrial applications. There is a video demonstration of the hmi in action here.

HMI promises to change the entire technology industry and make it easier and more interesting to use computers, play games, and work. To find out more about gesture based HMI, please visit, where you will find a variety of information and affordable HMI devises.