Human-Computer Interaction, often called HCI, is a sociotechnological discipline whose goal is to bring the power of computer and communication systems to people in ways and forms that are both accessible and useful in our working, learning, communicating, and recreational lives.

Toward this end, technologies such as the graphical user interface, virtual environments, speech recognition, gesture and handwriting recognition, multimedia presentation, and cognitive models of human learning and understanding have been developed and applied as part of HCI research agendas.

HCI is sociotechnological because it concerns how people, both as individuals and as groups, use and are affected by computer and communication systems. As such, HCI draws on computer science, computer and communications engineering, graphic design, management, psychology, and sociology as it endeavors to make computer and communications systems ever more usable in carrying out tasks as diverse as learning a foreign language, analyzing the aerodynamics of a new airplane, planning surgery, playing a computer game, accessing information on the World Wide Web, or programming a VCR.

Excellence in HCI is important for several reasons:


The basic purposes of this JTEC study were to investigate Japanese HCI research and development and to compare current status and trends to similar work in the United States. In particular, the sponsors of the study (the National Science Foundation, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, and the Department of Commerce) were interested in the following specific areas:

The JTEC study panel visited 22 sites during its one-week visit to Japan May 22-26, 1995: 1 government center, 2 universities, 13 corporations, and 6 consortia (mostly sponsored by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, MITI).


The following sections present highlights of the JTEC panel's conclusions drawn from its site visits. Table ES.1 compares HCI activities in Japan and the United States.

Research Infrastructure (Chapter 1)

HCI Education and Human Resources (Chapter 1)

Basic HCI Research (Chapter 2)

CSCW, Information Network Services, and Information Infrastructure (Chapter 3)

Consumer Devices, Games, and Entertainment (Chapter 4)

Technologies and Tools for People with Disabilities (Chapter 5)

Nuclear Power, Robotic Manufacturing and Service, and Transportation (Chapter 6)

Published: March 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian