Improve the ergonomics of your Smart HMI device

 In Blog, Design to manufacture, Engineers, Flexible Electronics, HMI, Printed Circuit Board Assemblies, Sustainability

How to improve the ergonomics of your Smart HMI device

As our reliance on technology grows, so does the importance of intuitive and comfortable interaction with it. Industries across the globe are not just integrating electronics into their operations: they are also adapting to increasingly advanced devices, and smart HMIs are becoming more prevalent. Smart HMIs can assist workers in diverse tasks and streamline their interactions with systems. The question is, how can we make these smart HMIs more ergonomic for future iterations?

Smart HMIs should be designed with the end-user in mind

When considering the ergonomics of your smart HMI, one of the first questions we pose is: what role is the device designed to fulfil? We know that understanding this will significantly influence the design process. Whatever the application, In2tec’s solutions are crafted with a keen understanding of the user. For instance, in motorsport and hypercar applications, combining our flexible circuit technology, haptic feedback, capacitive touch capabilities and visual displays our solutions are tailored to meet the expectations and requirements of drivers, enabling us to design smart HMI that perfectly suits their needs.

This design philosophy can also be applied to sectors such as healthcare, where hygiene and real-time data feedback are essential for users, or wearable technology, where the comfort of the item is directly attributable to its ergonomics. The most effective approach to designing a smart HMI is in understanding the needs of its users. This understanding can be achieved through experience, research, consultation, or active involvement of end-users throughout the design and all of which can prove vital providing invaluable insight and feedback.

Smart HMIs should be simple to use and intuitive

For smart HMIs in a workplace setting, ergonomic design is imperative for ease of use. For users to perform operations efficiently and accurately the primary purpose of a smart HMI is to facilitate the operation of everyday tasks, in an intuitive manner.

A prime example of this approach is our In2Sense Smart Office, designed to provide aircraft passengers with a comprehensive in-flight business centre. Leveraging ‘secret-til-lit’ technology, this device acts as a standard folding seat tray when idle, but transforms into a keyboard when a compatible tablet is inserted. Its design allows our Smart Office to serve varied functions while retaining a core simplicity so users can start using it straight away.

Smart HMIs should be comfortable and accessible

Improving the comfort and accessibility of your smart HMI is an effective way to enhance its ergonomic potential, as we’ve previously discussed. Traditional printed circuit boards, which are rigid, can prove a barrier to this objective. They often dictate the design of the devices they’re housed in. The solution? In2tec’s flexible circuits and In2Sense 3D technology, which allow you to form & shape conductive circuits to the silhouette of your end product.

By leveraging innovative production techniques, such as creating circuits using conductive ink and materials that offer up to 100% recyclability (made possible by our patented ReUSE®), In2tec provides solutions not bound by the constraints of traditional PCBs. This freedom allows us to create more intuitive and lighter devices for improved comfort.

This approach also enables the production of devices with a keen focus on accessibility. By considering factors such as weight, grip, and button placement, we can ensure that users with various physical abilities and limitations can still optimally utilise these devices. While this consideration is particularly crucial in medical settings, all industries stand to benefit from expanding the range of individuals who can fully harness the capabilities of smart HMIs.

Ergonomic, Smart HMIs from In2tec

At In2tec, we are deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of technology while prioritising sustainable electronic solutions. We are firm believers in the potential of smart HMI devices to achieve these goals without compromising quality. Our team is eager to collaborate with customers when designing HMI devices, and we offer expert advice on best practices and materials that align with your design objectives, providing guidance on maximising your device’s ergonomic potential. To learn more about how In2tec can help realise your vision, please contact a member of our team.

T. + 44 (0)1536 419200 (office hours GMT: 8.30am-5.00pm Mon-Thurs; 8.30am-2.30pm Fri)


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