What is Interface: Definition and 166 Discussions

In the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, a user interface (UI) is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators' decision-making process. Examples of this broad concept of user interfaces include the interactive aspects of computer operating systems, hand tools, heavy machinery operator controls, and process controls. The design considerations applicable when creating user interfaces are related to, or involve such disciplines as, ergonomics and psychology.
Generally, the goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface which makes it easy, efficient, and enjoyable (user-friendly) to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result (i.e. maximum usability). This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and also that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the user.
User interfaces are composed of one or more layers, including a human-machine interface (HMI) that interfaces machines with physical input hardware such as keyboards, mice, or game pads, and output hardware such as computer monitors, speakers, and printers. A device that implements an HMI is called a human interface device (HID). Other terms for human-machine interfaces are man-machine interface (MMI) and, when the machine in question is a computer, human–computer interface. Additional UI layers may interact with one or more human senses, including: tactile UI (touch), visual UI (sight), auditory UI (sound), olfactory UI (smell), equilibrial UI (balance), and gustatory UI (taste).
Composite user interfaces (CUIs) are UIs that interact with two or more senses. The most common CUI is a graphical user interface (GUI), which is composed of a tactile UI and a visual UI capable of displaying graphics. When sound is added to a GUI, it becomes a multimedia user interface (MUI). There are three broad categories of CUI: standard, virtual and augmented.
Standard CUI use standard human interface devices like keyboards, mice, and computer monitors. When the CUI blocks out the real world to create a virtual reality, the CUI is virtual and uses a virtual reality interface. When the CUI does not block out the real world and creates augmented reality, the CUI is augmented and uses an augmented reality interface. When a UI interacts with all human senses, it is called a qualia interface, named after the theory of qualia.
CUI may also be classified by how many senses they interact with as either an X-sense virtual reality interface or X-sense augmented reality interface, where X is the number of senses interfaced with. For example, a Smell-O-Vision is a 3-sense (3S) Standard CUI with visual display, sound and smells; when virtual reality interfaces interface with smells and touch it is said to be a 4-sense (4S) virtual reality interface; and when augmented reality interfaces interface with smells and touch it is said to be a 4-sense (4S) augmented reality interface.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. Twigg

    Reducing friction at interface between a sphere and a plane?

    I have a flat planar part made of crystalline sapphire (about ~2k weight, and polished to a mirror finish) that rests on three ball bearings, and I want to minimize the static friction at these 3 interfaces. The ball bearings are fixed so they cannot roll, and the sapphire part can only slip...
  2. C

    A How to define ##\nabla \cdot D ## at the interface between dielectrics

    It is believed that Maxwell equations (together with other relations depending on the materials) are sufficient to account for any electromagnetic macroscopic effect. The problem is that, for a Maxwell equation to hold, it must at least be defined. Consider for example the case of two...
  3. V

    Surface Tension: Plate-Water Interface

    I would think that a force due to surface tension would act upwards on the plate and not downward, as shown in the diagram I have come up with. The surface of water would act as a stretched membrane and therefore there would be a surface tension on water surface in contact with the bottom of the...
  4. C

    I Simple model of thermal shape fluctuations of liquid interface

    Consider a container filled with two essentially incompressible liquids with densities ##\rho > \rho'## and (respective) volumes ##V##, ##V'##, rotated by a centrifuge in some orbit-based space lab to maintain a roughly constant (co-moving) simulated "gravitational field" g. Let's suppose that...
  5. S

    Do modern motherboards use a keyboard interface chip?

    Years ago, most PC motherboards had a PS2 connector for the keyboard and (I think) most had a special chip that managed that interface. Now that most PCs use USB keyboards, is the keyboard interface still implemented by a separate chip?
  6. Twigg

    A Why are only TM waves allowed in this geometry? (Planar interface)

    I'm reading about excitation of surface plasmons, and there's a claim in the derivation I don't know how to prove. The geometry is two infinite slabs of material with negligible permeability (##\mu_1 = \mu_2 = 1##) and different permittivity ##(\epsilon_1 \neq \epsilon_2 \neq 1)##. The claim...
  7. dRic2

    Using gmail interface for another web mail

    Hi, I have an e-mail for work, but I really don't like the web interface. I decided to forward every e-mail to my gmail account. However, once on gmail, if I reply toany e-mail, my reply will be sent by my gmail account instead of the one I use for work. Do you know know if there is a way...
  8. S

    I How does sound reflect from an interface at an angle?

    How does sound reflect from interface at an angle? The propagation of light is determined by a single factor - index of refraction. Sound is affected by two factors - speed and acoustic impedance. Take the case of two substances with identical acoustic impedance but different sound speeds - one...
  9. Dario56

    Owens - Wendt Model for Surface Energy of Solid - Liquid Interface

    Owens - Wendt model is used for calculating surface energy on liquid - solid interface and it is given by following equation: $$ \gamma_{sl} = \gamma_s + \gamma_l -2(\sqrt {\gamma_l^d \gamma_s^d} + \sqrt {\gamma_l^p \gamma_s^p}) $$ So, if we use liquid and solid of known surface energy as well...
  10. MD LAT 1492

    P & S Waves to Strains-liquid solid interface

    Welcoming any relevant literature!
  11. M

    How could Amazon Web Services interface with battery storage?

    Hi, So this is a purposely abstract question and no specific details of the battery have been provided. I was wondering what type of AWS service would be appropriate to send signals to a battery (to release or store electricity)? I was looking around on the website and couldn't quite figure out...
  12. T

    How to use linux library to interface with hardware

    We have a system that requires software to program a fairly complex frequency synthesizer IC. Given the desired frequency, software executes an algorithm to calculate the values needed to be programmed into the physical device. We would like to have this algorithm contained in an independent...
  13. F

    Engineering The connections in designing an I/O interface with output port

    The connections are as follows: The "D" pins are connected to the data bus, the "Q" pins to the device, the "E" control to the block address decoder, the "OE(bar)" to ground. Am I right?
  14. AryaKimiaghalam

    A Interface between Biological Physics and Quantum Physics

    Are there areas of studies which could be characterized as an interface of biological physics and quantum physics? Does such an interface even exist?
  15. D

    Numerical approximation of the 2nd derivative across a diffuse interface

    Imagine you create a diffuse interface in space and determine which side of the interface you are on by a local scalar value that can be between 0 and 1. We could create a circle, centered in a rectangular ynum-by-xnum grid, with such a diffuse interface with the following MATLAB code: xnum =...
  16. A

    Biological to electrical/mechanical interface with artificial augmentation

    Ok, so I somewhat randomly saw a recent video made by VICE about people with severe disabilities being treated with the help of modern bio-technology, the part at the second half of the video made me watch in awe as I found it hard to understand. Here is the video The questions I would have...
  17. S

    Most common computer interface errors

    What's the most common error in using computer interfaces? The most common computer interface error that I make is clicking on the wrong "x" and unintentionally closing a window. I blame this on the fact that window managers use the same style of decoration for all windows, so all the "x"'s...
  18. I

    B Do photons bunch up at an interface? Can they lase (laze?)

    If the light slows at an interface, what happens to the photons coming in after the slowed ones? Can these cohere with the leading (slowed) ones and create what amounts to a FEL?
  19. M

    A Fluid Equilibrium Interface Shape

    Hi PF! Suppose a 2D rectangular channel with wall-normal perpendicular to the downward gravity force ##F## rests is static equilibrium. What shape would the liquid take? Looking at the equations of motion, I think the following would have to be satisfied: $$\frac{d P}{dy} = -\rho F\\ \Delta P...
  20. S

    I Strain of of a bubble's surface interface during vibrations

    Imagine a bubble vibrating in air. Because it vibrates, it's interfacial area increases, thus new molecules are added and removed from the surface as it vibrates. Consider a molecule is initially at position X_0 at the interface, and over a certain amount of time molecules squeeze and disappear...
  21. L

    Dielectric interface plate capacitor at angle alpha

    Consider a plate capacitor with a dielectric interface (\epsilon = \epsilon_0*\epsilon_r, thickness=d) tilted at the angle \alpha . Outside the interface \epsilon = \epsilon_0. Without dielectric interface is the field \vec{E}=E_0*\vec{e_z}. Determine the E-field inside and outside the...
  22. M

    Fluid Interface Frequency Transform

    Hi PF! Fluid lies in a 2D rectangular channel and oscillates from a disturbance. I have several .csv files, each corresponding to a moment in time, where within each are two lists of numbers: the ##x## and ##y## position of a fluid interface. I'd like to decompose the interface into it's...
  23. N

    Is Snell's law incompatible with interface conditions? What went wrong?

    Hi everyone, Someone posted this hypothetical problem on a facebook group and I am wondering what your thoughts are. The issue is that Snell's law does not seem to hold when applied to the transmitted wave (calculated using the electromagnetic interface conditions.) Here is an example...
  24. Kaguro

    Induced charge density at the interface of dielectric slabs

    E0=V/d = 100/0.1 =1000v/m In slab 1, E1=E0/k1=500v/m In slab 2, E2=E0/k2=250v/m Applying Gauss' Law to a box surface surrounding the interface with area equal to the plates we have (-E1+E2)*A = Q/epsilon_naught So charge density sigma = -250 epsilon_naught But answer given is...
  25. M

    Fluid pressure at an interface

    Suppose we have an incompressible, viscous sessile drop subject to a time-dependent pressure field ##p## on a substrate. Let ##\mu## be dynamic viscosity, ##u## be the fluid velocity field, ##\kappa_{1/2}## curvatures of the fluid surface, ##\sigma## surface tension, ##\hat n## normals to the...
  26. T

    Normal Stress Balance at a Fluid-fluid Interface

    I am trying to determine a normal stress balance at an axisymmetric and dynamic fluid-fluid interface, ##z(r,t)##. For a static, free surface, this simplifies to the Young-Laplace equation: $$ \Delta p=\rho gz-\sigma2H=\rho gz-\frac{\sigma}{r}\frac{\partial}{\partial r}\left(r\frac{\partial...
  27. Cathr

    Finding Fresnel coefficients from the interface conditions

    Homework Statement We have an incident electric field, and there are two cases: 1) the field is polasised perpendicularly to the incidence plane (TE) 2) polarised in the plane (TM) Here I must be able to correctly apply the limit conditions, to find the Fresnel formulas that give the...
  28. Cathr

    I Finding the Fresnel coefficients from interface conditions

    I'm studying for an exam (so this is existential) and I never really got how to write the limit conditions for an interface. In my problem, there is an incident electric field, and there are two cases: 1) the field is polasised perpendicularly to the incidence plane (TE) 2) polarised in the...
  29. davidfur

    Fortran Interface between a Fortran77 program and a Fortran90 program

    Hi all, I'm new to Fortran programming, so I might probably ask some really trivial questions - please forgive me. I have two source codes of big programs. One is coded in Fortran77 and the other one in Fortran90. Now, I need to build an interface so that the Fortran90 program can call some...
  30. R

    Interface Wireless Frequency Sensor with Arduino

    Hello, I am going to interface wireless frequency meter transmitter with Arduino but before starting regarding sensor, I need to test the signal strength of this sensor (at different distances) by interfacing it with Arduino, I have never been used such kind of sensor before so any suggestion...
  31. Dor

    I What should be continuous at the interface of two materials?

    At the interface between: 1) conductor/conductor 2) conductor/semiconductor (or dielectric) 3) semiconductor/semiconductor (or dielectric/dielectric) What quantity should be continuous? Is it the electrochemical potential, only the chemical potential or is it the electric potential? Since they...
  32. S

    Jump conditions for electric field across an interface

    Hi, I have some confusion about the jump conditions for an electric field across an interface between two materials with different properties. In general, we have the two jump conditions across an interface: n.(ɛE)+ - n.(ɛE)- = σ...
  33. amjad-sh

    A Scattering states at presence of interface with strong SOC

    This thread refers to a paper I am working on. The paper said in the model section that: In the complete set of scattering states we distinguish two orthogonal set of eigenfunctions: (i) the states − → ϕ incoming from the left, and (ii) the states ←− ϕ incoming from the right. Away from...
  34. amjad-sh

    Spin-orbit coupling at the interface between two metals

    sorry I am going slightly off the topic. <<Moderator's note: split off from this thread.>> I asked this question because I'm studying a paper concerning the presence of spin orbit coupling at the interface between two metals. This is the part of the paper I'm studying: "Our aim is to...
  35. B

    A Interface states in a PIN diode

    Is the equation used to determine the density of interface states in schottky diodes from capacitance- frequency data applicable to PIN junctions?
  36. T

    Non Newtonian / Newtonian Fluid interface

    Suppose I have a wave tank partially filled with a shear thickening Newtonian fluid (Oobleck), on top of which sits a layer of water (separated by a thin membrane to prevent mixing) If I propagate a surface wave in the water layer how will it conduct itself at the Newtonian/Non Newtonian Fluid...
  37. pairofstrings

    Class, Interface, Abstract, Static, Partial, Sealed

    Hi. What do I call Instance Classes, Interface, Abstract Classes, Partial Classes, Static Class, Sealed Class collectively? Thanks.
  38. S

    How do I get this interface condition?

    Homework Statement I have an infinitely long cylinder of a dielectric material, surrounded by another dielectric material and coated with graphene which has surface conductivity \sigma, implying it has a superficial current. The sheet of graphene is very thin, and the dielectrics are asumed to...
  39. S

    Interface conditions on a graphene interface

    Homework Statement I'm trying to do all the calculations for the attached paper, and I'm having trouble with the boundary conditions for P polarization. My question is, how can I arrive to those conditions? The problem is 2D, an infinite dielectric cylinder coated with a layer of graphene...
  40. T

    Serial Peripheral Interface

    I have a SPI with a master and a slave: How the system knows what's the starting point of the data sent ? It's ok that we have the clock, but both MOSI and MISO have a default state on "1", that may be sampled as data sent
  41. A

    A Does an interface necessarily satisfy the KPZ Equation?

    Does an interface between two different phases necessarily satisfy the KPZ equation if the interface is in the KPZ universality class?
  42. berkeman

    Hardware interface and App SW development for Smart Phones

    So the recent fun thread about Smart Phone uses: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/what-do-smart-phones-partially-replace.932077/ reminded me of several Apps I'd like to write that involve external hardware. Think DAQ or other types of external hardware. Do most external hardware modules...
  43. whatisgoingon

    XY plane as the interface between two media

    Homework Statement The xy-plane serves as the interface between two different media. Medium 1 (z < 0) is filled with a material whose µr=6, and medium 2 (z > 0) is filled with a material whose µr=4. If the interface carries a current (1/µ0)ˆy (y- hat) mA/m, and B2 = 5ˆx (x-hat) + 8ˆz (z-hat)...
  44. F

    CFD Fluent airflow simulation -- "Error: no periodic zones adjacent to grid interface"

    I have created a savonius turbine model with 2 blades using 3D gambit. I want to simulate the flow of air flowing so as to drive the turbine savonius spin (unsteady, incompressible). Geometry consists of 3 volume boxes (domain tunnel flow), cylinder (domain grid interface), blade savonius...
  45. M

    Ansys Interface: Troubleshooting Geometry Options in Structural Template

    I try to follow these steps and I am not sure but my interface might be different. I cannot see geometry options in my structural template in contrast to the vid. Here my template: Thank you.
  46. BiGyElLoWhAt

    Java How to write an interface that extends window listener

    I am writing a program, and only care about one abstract method in window listener: windowClosing(windowEvent e){} Because of this, I would like to write a new interface windowSomthingCleverNameWise that extends window listener and does nothing with all of the methods except for windowClosing...
  47. C

    Finding R, I & V in an PLC output interface

    Homework Statement The circuit shown below is part of the interface of a relay output module. Ib is 1 mA and VCC is 9 V. The relay requires a minimum of 50 mA to energise. Complete the values of the assumptions listed below in order to calculate: • voltage across R1 • value of R1 • voltage...
  48. nothing909

    Microcontroller/optoisolator interface

    I have to connect a micro controller to an optoisolator, but I'm told to do this, I can't directly connect the micro controller to the optoisolator, I need an interface device in between (for example an open collector). Why is this, what is the reason for the interface device and why can I not...