Browse Definitions :
Definition

interface device (IDF)

Contributor(s): Niall O'Donoghue

IDF also stands for intermediate distribution frame .

An interface device (IDF) is a hardware component or system of components that allows a human being to interact with a computer, a telephone system, or other electronic information system. The term is often encountered in the mobile communication industry where designers are challenged to build the proper combination of portability, capability, and ease of use into the interface device. The overall set of characteristics provided by an interface device is often referred to as the user interface (and, for computers - at least, in more academic discussions - the human-computer interface or HCI ). Today's desktop and notebook computers have what has come to be called a graphical user interface ( GUI ) to distinguish it from earlier, more limited interfaces such as the command line interface ( CLI ).

An interface device generally must include some form or forms of output interface, such as a display screen or audio signals, and some form or forms of input interface, such as buttons to push, a keyboard, a voice receiver, or a handwriting tablet. Harmonia, a company that makes a program for developing Web pages that can be formatted on the fly for different kinds of interface devices, defines six generic classes of interface devices that characterize today's technology:

  • The personal computer (desktop or notebook, abundant memory and external storage, keyboard, large display)
  • Handheld (much smaller, still has a keyboard)
  • Palm (smaller still, can fit in some pockets, handwriting is primary input interface, display very small and usually landscape rather than portrait)
  • Smart Phone (digital cellular phone with little or no computing, accepts Wireless Markup Language-coded pages from Web servers)
  • Smart Pager (also known as a two-way pager , has the ability to respond by pressing buttons or by using a tiny keyboard)
  • Standard Telephone (voice and key input interface, no computer capability)
  • Hybrid (often a combined phone and handheld computer)

If you are creating content for a human receiver, you need at least a general understanding of the type or types of interface devices that the your audience may be using. The Extensible Markup Language ( XML ) is designed to allow Web or other content to be created independently of the type of interface device that may be used. An individual style sheet designed for specific interface device types can be created using the Extensible Stylesheet Language ( XSL ). Then, when a user requests a page, that user's interface device type can be recognized and the appropriate style sheet used to format the page that is sent. Harmonia has developed a User Interface Markup Language (UIML) that facilitates this process.

This was last updated in December 2010

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close