Human-machine interfaces

Human-Machine Interfaces
© artfotoss – iStock/Fraunhofer IAO


Innovative controls for machinery and manufacturing plants

Until now, the purpose of human-machine interfaces (HMI) has been to ensure safe and effective operation and monitoring.

At Fraunhofer IAO, we go well beyond this requirement: we develop HMI concepts for increasingly networked and smart manufacturing plants in order to facilitate a dynamic cooperation and partnership between people and technology. Our HMI make complex processes transparent and easy to monitor while using motivating elements to promote employee commitment and responsibility. For instance, we apply knowledge from neuroscience to enable highly individualized operation.

Our cutting-edge expertise is of benefit to:

  • machinery and plant manufacturers who can set themselves apart from their competitors by offering HMI solutions with innovative display features and interactive functions,
  • manufacturing companies whose employees are required to keep an eye on many different sources of information and who can be supported with innovative, motivating, and ergonomically designed HMI solutions, and
  • technology providers who are planning to market human-machine interaction solutions that transcend cultural boundaries and skill levels.

Our focal areas of research include:

  • interaction concepts for efficient manufacturing processes
  • design and technologies for innovative user interfaces
  • prototyping and user testing
  • tools and processes for HMI engineering

Are you looking to develop tailored HMI solutions? We can support you!

Further information


Innovation network

HMI 4.0

Ein entscheidender Faktor für die Produktivität von Anlagen ist die effiziente Behandlung von Störfällen. Sinnvolle Anleitungen existieren meist nur für häufig auftretende Standard-Störfälle. Unsere Vision: Nutzergenerierte Bedienhilfen erstellen.



Interaction lab

The interaction lab of the Fraunhofer IAO offers researchers and industrial partners a joint platform for the development and testing of concepts for innovative forms of interaction. A central, end-to-end and transparent management information system with relevant visualization options is provided for »Visual project management in product development«.



Neurolab: laboratory for neuroscience

One of the top priorities when developing new technologies to improve work processes in today’s increasingly digital world is that these solutions should emphasize the human factor. For it is only by understanding human needs and expectations that we will be able to design user-friendly human-machine systems that generate added value and are enjoyable to work with. At the Fraunhofer IAO Neurolab, we employ (neuro-)physiological methods to investigate these questions.


Related service

Human-machine interaction

A technology is only as good as the way we can interact with it. The best human-machine interfaces (HMIs) dovetail creative, aesthetic and technical aspects and increase economic success. This puts user interfaces for software, services, customer interaction and industrial devices at the heart of HMI design.