Human-Technology Interaction

Shaping progress: for industry, for people

We design intuitive and user-friendly technology for people. New technologies can be used to digitalize processes, increase productivity and enhance our lives. They open up a wealth of opportunities for new products and attractive services. Whether or not new technologies succeed, however, ultimately depends on how people experience – and accept – them.

In our research, we work on solutions that facilitate efficient interaction between people and smart technology: at work, on the road, at home or out and about. We create people-centric innovation processes and develop IT security concepts tailored to specific requirements.

Our Human-technology interaction researchers focus on:

  • Technologies and design approaches for user interfaces and ergonomic products
  • Human-vehicle interaction, driver assistance systems and automated driving
  • Identity management and personalization
  • User experience und usability engineering
  • Digitalization strategies that serve human needs
  • Neuro-ergonomics
  • Intuitive and user-oriented IT security solutions

Projects Selection

RELAI: Scenario-based training for automated vehicle

How can we be sure automated vehicles will do what they should out on the road? The Fraunhofer IAO and the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart are looking to answer that question. A joint research team has set out to develop training and testing scenarios that will ensure AVs live up to our expectations.

Get users excited with positive UX

You may have heard the expression “user experience” – or “UX” for short. But what does it mean? What qualities must a product possess for users to develop an emotional attachment to it and enjoy working with it? Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can find answers to this question in the recently opened “Design4Xperience” competence center. The center helps SMEs develop new concepts that dovetail with the needs of the respective customer segment.

Products and services for the kitchen of the future

Our new approach to research – innovation based on real user needs: Arcelik, a big Turkish manufacturer of white goods, was looking for new product and service concepts for its portfolio. The desire was to keep customers engaged and enthusiastic by developing concepts based on real user needs.


Scalable IT for improving productivity in mechatronic systems manufacturing: The overall objective of the ScaleIT research project is to develop a scalable, expandable technical platform that is simple to implement on the shop floor.

Homo Digitalis

Digitalization is changing our lives in many ways. But what effects has it already had? What do people picture life to be like in the future? Finding answers to these questions is essential so that we can actively and humanely help to shape digitalization. To this end, Fraunhofer IAO has developed an online test together with the German public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF and the Franco-German TV network ARTE.

The Human-Technology Interaction Research Unit is organized into the following teams:


Ergonomics and Vehicle Interaction

This team develops ergonomic products, equipment and work systems, and addresses questions surrounding human-vehicle interaction. 


Interaction Design and Technologies

This team aims to leverage the digitalization opportunities offered by new types of human-technology interaction as effectively as possible.  


User Experience

This team develops new methods and approaches for measuring – as well as targeted measures for achieving – positive user experiences in interaction with technical products.    


Identity Management

This team deals with economic, technical and organizational issues pertaining to identity management and information security both within companies and across organizations.  


Applied Neurocognitive Systems

The team combines methods and knowledge from psychology and neuroscience with machine learning to find new solutions and create interactive technologies that leverage the full range of human potential to foster subjective well-being.