Human Computer Interaction

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is a sub-sector of computer science. Interfaces and interactive systems between humans and machines will be developed within this scientific discipline. The special feature of the HCI is its interdisciplinary approach, which also makes use of methods and theories from other scientific fields such as psychology, sociology and work science. Subareas of the HCI include e-learning and user experience design.

Areas of use

HCI is used in many areas. Especially in business and industry, people are networked with machines in order to achieve optimum results. Military research is also concerned with the advantages of man-machine interaction. In medicine, intelligent devices help patients to regenerate or help handicapped people with everyday tasks. The aim is always to bring human skills in harmony with the advantages of machine control and to make use of the advantages of both "systems".

Well-known examples

Google uses many projects to show how human computer interaction can look in practice. Similar to the Siri project at Apple, voice control for search is one of the technologies of the future. The eye glasses Google Glass work almost exclusively with voice commands. Google Suggest's complementary feature of Google search can also be identified as part of the HCI. A further step towards linking man and machine is the further development of the search functions as part of the Hummingbird update.


In the mobile phone sector, the effects of human computer interaction are also clearly visible. For example, the gesture control of smartphones as well as the high-speed read-app "Spritz" [1] are results of research in the field of HCI. Smart clocks or intelligent thermostats are also part of the practical results of research into human-machine interaction. This video explains what HCI is.


  1. Spritz Reading Accessed on May 5, 2014

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