From early morning to the moment you are on your way to work, you have probably interacted with at least three or four machines. 

You’ve turned off the alarm on your smartphone, got your morning dose of caffeine from the coffee maker, and pressed the elevator button. If your home has smart appliances or you drive a car, the number of those machines may have grown to a dozen. 

Without even realizing how it was done, you were confident that machines will follow through the orders you have given them. Furthermore, the whole experience was pleasant and a breeze, only because someone thought of ways for smooth human-machine interaction (HMI). 

Such immaculate HMI communication would have been impossible without the magic of embedded GUI development, and especially without HMI development tools.

What is HMI Development?

Before delving into HMI, let’s briefly focus on GUI. 

GUI stands for graphical user interface, a visual representation of data and real-time information produced by an electronic device, which allows users to interact, supervise, analyze, and manipulate the device input and output. 

User interfaces can also be without graphic indicators such as icons or buttons, but today’s UI are generally graphical, mostly because of the property of visual indicators to transmit plenty of information in a user-friendly way. 

Your computer screen and mouse interaction is a perfect GUI example. 

Embedded GUI development is developing software for facilitating such interaction, and when it involves a human and a machine, it becomes HMI development

Simplifying Interfaces with HMI Development  

If you think that using HMI development tools sounds complicated and something that only experienced UI developers would be able to do, you are right. 

It takes a tremendous amount of effort to pack all that interaction into neatly packed visual boxes that correspond to how users interact with the device. 

The produced UI need not only be representative of important information, but also embrace multiple device functionality. In a nutshell, most user interfaces nowadays require cross-platform application. Without cross-platform GUI development, manufacturing, supply chain management, entertainment, transportation, logistics, business intelligence, and many other industrial applications would have been back in the 19th century or stuck with basic mechanical control panels. 

Embedded GUI Frameworks for Cross-Platform Application

For businesses, where the user interface needs to support the human-machine interaction in advanced ways, HMI development is essential. As the interconnectedness of electronic devices grows in importance and more and more devices come with a display, we need to rely more on sophisticated user interfaces. 

Photo by Eftakher Alam on Unsplash

There are ways to simplify the programming of all those steps from pressing a button to getting that perfect espresso brew, all the way to refined enterprise UI across platforms. 

One way developers use to create visually stunning and functional user interfaces, even for complicated enterprise software, is by using GUI and HMI development tools, such as application frameworks and readymade widget toolkits. 

And when coffee-making sounds complicated enough, what is the secret of immaculately functioning software like Adobe Photoshop, Lucasfilm and Disney movies, and Tesla Model S? Well, they all rely on the QT framework to enhance their UI development. 

Advantages of HMI Development Using QT

Think for example, on how you use your car software. A few decades back, it was impossible to imagine full reliance on car software, except for CDs. Today, however, cars not only inform us about traffic, road conditions, and navigation, but they also entertain us. Advanced HMI is transforming the world. 

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

Take a look, for example, at the display features of the new Mercedes-Benz’ MBUX model or the Panasonic Infotainment in-vehicle system. Rosegarden, the Linux digital audio editing software is QT-based. LG consumer electronics heavily relies on HMI development using QT.

That embedment would have been impossible without QT, a GUI development tool with a number of benefits:

  • Open-source and commercial versions
  • Smooth cross-platform UI for all devices, web and mobile
  • Without-a-hassle coding from the same codebase 
  • Rich custom widget resources
  • Rapid prototyping

At Extenly, we love using QT for HMI development because it makes our lives easier and our clients happy. QT is our strongest support in simplifying UI, and its timesaving capacity doesn’t cease to amaze us, even after years of experience working with user interfaces.

Interested in how Extenly can help you design and develop a badass GUI application and awe your customers from the moment they get into contact with your business all the way to a 5-star review? 

Get in touch to learn more about our full range of services!