Internet of Things is all about the interconnectivity of internet with the machine. Whether it is your smartphone or an industrial machine spinning cotton in your smart factory, to be connected to a machine would still require a window through which we can interact with it. Human-machine interfaces (HMI) make that possible.This article is written based on the insights given by Rajesh Sola, Education Specialist, KPIT Technologies Ltd.
Interacting with the machine, the engineers must focus on communication protocols, depending upon the active feedbacks from the endpoint device or sensors. HMI helps improve operator efficiency. Not only that, unlike traditional HMI based systems, IoT integration with IoT could help operators get detailed visuals with all the systems available and make better decisions. This makes factory floor human-friendly and a great ability to deal with a hazardous situation that may arise minimizing human intervention.
“To develop an HMI with IoT, There is no need to program from scratch. There are good frameworks available with rich libraries. Interfaces are so simple that today, its as easy as dragging and dropping the components and simulating the program” says Rajesh sola.
Engineers often use MQTT which is familiar, easy and most protocols are more standardized. MQTT stands for MQ Telemetry Transport. This protocol makes it ideal to develop IoT and requires minimum battery power and bandwidth.
Standardization in the field of IoT is a key barrier. To counter the challenges and bring standardization ecosystem, foundations like the Open connectivity foundations are working on spreading knowledge to connect devices irrespective of their connectivity type, form factors, firmware etc.
Open connectivity framework like AllJoyn is providing support to make IoT a self-improving ecosystem among the developers. This enables developers to create flexible yet standardized IoT solutions to real-world problems across the platforms. Generic web protocols such as CoAP are formulated to aid in the development of energy-efficient building automation, smart home, and asynchronous message exchanges.
Developing smart automotive Infotainment system
Automotive infotainment systems are catching up big in the IoT applied sector of smart vehicles. This platform supports connectivity of all the sensors and infotainment components to connect to the central hub and work either on the commands of the user or programmed all by itself within the automobile. Smart automotive solutions like this are perfect examples of HMI applications. Info hubs like these can also take inputs from humans in form of voice, gestures, touch, and vision. They can listen to instructions from microphones, visuals from camera and hands to assess gesture and motion. This system could be made with various lightweight protocols as these applications use minimal application logic and are programmed to accept instructions except important alerts. The system can also obtain data from the engine, the odometer indicator lights, parking lights (if they malfunction) wirelessly transmitted to the vehicle’s dashboard.
HMI and IoT
“Connectivity is becoming more demanding. This is increasing the significance of HMI layer on IoT”, says Rajesh. Similarly, this technology can integrate with the smart concepts like home and healthcare in future”, says Rajesh Sola.Many future implementations await HMI across platforms and across applications. This methodology could greatly enhance our interaction with machines and with time they will simplify our life.
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To know more, attend Rajesh Sola’s talk on “Qt/QML APPLICATIONS FOR CONNECTED AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS“ at EFY Conferences 2018