Why Feedback From Tactile Switches is Important

There’s something truly addictive about tactile responses that captivates the human mind, and when it comes to technology, there’s no exception. When human beings interact with electronics, such as the press of a button, and that switch closure talks back, the interaction makes users feel in control. Not only that, but the response can be fairly satisfying, making it a desirable feature.

 

Switches that utilize this potential are known as Tactile Switches. Knowing how to use these tactile switches properly while designing an interface, gives engineers the power to achieve better interface usability, aesthetics, and overall product quality. There’s a reason why tactile switches are often found in gaming devices, keyboards, and other forms of technology requiring quick, repetitive responses that are also pleasant to use for long duration’s of time.

 

In order to utilize tactile feedback as an advantage, we have to ask the question: what makes this sensation possible? To start with, it is important to first comprehend what a tactile switch actually is.

What Are Tactile Switches?

Tactile switches are simply a form of electrical switch with the primary function of opening and closing an electrical circuit. The difference between tactile switches and non-tactile switches is that they are designed in such a way which results in a physical sensory response upon actuation.

 

When the switch opens or closes a circuit, it provides a signal to the system it is connected to. The event that is triggered by this switch is ultimately up to the designer or programmer of the final product and its intended function. As an example, one of these events could be as simple as turning an LED on or off, but it could also be a more complex command, such as retrieving data algorithms from a satellite.

SMD Tactile Switches
Tactile Response Slope

How Do Tactile Switches Provide Feedback To The User?

Tactile switches provide feedback to the user in the form of physical sensation. This sensation can be anything from a light bounce to a loud click, wholly dependent on the actuator chosen for the job.

 

The vast array of tactile actuation methods available is a bit overwhelming, but in the end, the method you choose will determine the type of tactile feedback you will receive. Metal Domes, SnapMax® switches, [most] component switches and PolyDome switches are all inherently tactile switches.

 

The feedback that these switching devices provide is what makes tactile switches so satisfying and addictive for many people. It helps to explain why tactile switches are so hard to put down, and why touch screens will never completely takeover as a substitute for mechanical switches.

Tactile Switches Membrane Exploded View

Where Are Tactile Switches Generally Used?

Tactile switches are used in everyday life in a wide variety of ways. You likely use one at least once a week without even knowing it. They can be used as buttons or keys on devices like laptops, phones, vehicles, and medical devices, or they can be used as switches to control lights, appliances, industrial machinery and so on.

Tactile Switches On an Industrial Product By AliCat

How Do I Choose The Right Tactile Switch For My Application?

There are a many things to keep in mind when choosing a tactile switch. First, consider the type of feedback you want. How strong of a tactile response do you want for the interface? Second, think about the environment where the switch will be used. Will it be used indoors or outdoors? Will the switch be exposed to extreme temperatures, liquids, or other hazardous conditions? Finally, consider the size, shape, and quantity of switches needed. You want to make sure it will be comfortable to use and provides a layout that is easy to navigate.

 

No matter what your needs are, there is a tactile switch out there that is qualified to meet the needs of your interface design and with so much to take into account, we recommend contacting us today and our experts will help guide you through the design and manufacturing process with ease.

ALMAX Graphic Overlay Helps OEM Win CES 2020 Innovation Award

The VivO2, an in utero diagnostic device designed by Prenatal Hope to give mothers and their babies better birthing outcomes, won an innovation honorable mention award at the 2020 CES.  The device incorporates a graphic overlay manufactured by ALMAX who produced and delivered the parts in three days so Prenatal Hope could showcase their prototype at CES.

 

“I want to tell you guys how amazing it was to have you come through,” stated James Balman, Co-Founder and CTO of Prenatal Hope.  “The interfaces arrived on time and look amazing.   Just in time for our CES debut & featured in the innovation showcase.  Heck we even won some awards!”

 

About ALMAX:

ALMAX is an ISO certified manufacturer of electronic interfaces and interface components.  In addition to standard lead-time orders, ALMAX manufactures prototypes, including membrane switch prototypes, from their offshore and domestic manufacturing facilities.

ALMAX at IDTechEX 2019 – Booth K26

IDTechEX 2019 on November 20-21 in Santa Clara, California.

ALMAX Technologies on Display:
  • Printed and Embroidered Electronics on Fabric
  • Biosensors
  • Activated Capacitive and Haptic
  • In-Mold Graphics & Circuits (IMD)
  • Ruggedization Technologies
  • Deadfront Backlit Keypads
  • Rigid and Flex PCB
Want more information about IDTechEx or ALMAX Technologies?

Call 888-211-6325 or email info@almaxeis.com

ALMAX Brings Wearable Electronics to IDTechEx 2018

Kirkland, Washington – November 16, 2018 – ALMAX, a global leader in the design and manufacture of electronic switch technologies, showcased new product innovations at IDTechEx show. ALMAX’s innovative switching technologies help OEMs meet rapidly changing circuit and touch requirements.

Technologies on display included:

• LEDs on Washable Fabric
• Biosensors
• Wearable Electronics
• In-Mold Graphics & Circuits (IMD)
• Multi-Sensor Interfaces
• Activated Capacitive and Haptic
• Ruggedization Technologies
• Backlighting Technologies
• PCB Assemblies

These emerging technologies can be incorporated into medical membrane switches, industrial membrane switches, complex electronic interfaces and a wide range of high-end consumer electronics.

Interested in a sample of one ALMAX’s emerging technology? Please email info@almaxeis.com with your product of interest.

ALMAX Implements ITAR Compliance to Support USML Exporters

Kirkland, Washington – September 18, 2018 – ALMAX, a global leader in the design and manufacture of electronic switch technologies, announced their Tucson, Arizona manufacturing plant has registered with the DDTC and can now maintain ITAR compliance when supplying components to USML prime exporters.  ALMAX owns multiple manufacturing plants including plants outside of the United States, so the ITAR compliance can only be maintained at their Tucson, Arizona manufacturing plant.

“ALMAX provides customers a single-source solution for electronic switches that eliminates issues inherent with fragmented supply chains,” stated Bob Deppiesse, CEO of ALMAX.  “We recognized our customers needed an ITAR compliant manufacturing site to support their full product range.  As a discrete, US-only manufacturing location, our Tucson plant was the logical choice and our employees there have done an excellent job implementing systems and processes to maintain ITAR compliance.  We are proud of their work and excited to join our customers’ ITAR compliant supply chains.”

The ALMAX Tucson location, also called the ALMAX RP Division, has a core focus on supporting rapid prototyping for US-based customers.  Adding the ITAR compliance to the Tucson plant now gives customers access to ALMAX’s engineering and prototyping expertise when sourcing components destined for USML products.

Please email info@almaxeis.com if you would like details on ALMAX ITAR compliance or a copy of our registration letter.

Mide Technology Rates ALMAX “Excellent”

Kirkland, Washington – February 12, 2018 – ALMAX, a global leader in electronic interface design and switch manufacturing, was awarded an “excellent” rating by Mide Technology.  Mide Technology is a research and development company that excels in providing innovative engineering services.

“We value the opportunity to contribute to Mide Technology’s innovative solutions,” stated Bob Deppiesse, CEO of ALMAX.  “Consistently earning their highest supplier rating is recognition of the ALMAX manufacturing team’s commitment to providing world-class delivery performance, product quality and customer service while supporting some of the leading engineering innovations in our product space.”

About ALMAX

ALMAX is a vertically integrated global leader in the design and manufacturing of complex human interface electronic assemblies.  To learn more about ALMAX’s full range of products and engineering services, please visit: www.almaxeis.com

ALMAX Showcases Electronic Interface Design Technologies at ID TechEX

ALMAX Electronic Interface Solutions sent an engineering team to the ID TechEX show.  The ALMAX interface design engineers provided free design reviews and product demonstrations during the show.

The ALMAX booth at IDTechEx showcased printed electronics capabilities that can support emerging technologies that are rapidly changing circuit and touch requirements.  Products that were showcased at the ALMAX IDTechEx booth include:

  • LEDs on Washable Fabric
  • Biosensors
  • Activated Captive and Haptic Switches
  • Ruggedization Electronic Interface Technologies
  • In-Mold Graphics and In-Mold Circuits – IMD
  • Multi-Sensor Interfaces
  • Interactive Haptic Displays
  • Backlighting Solutions

ALMAX has been designing and manufacturing electronic interfaces for over 20 years.  OEMs and re-sellers rely on ALMAX’s electronic interface design expertise and manufacturing capabilities to develop innovative and reliable products for medical devices, industrial controls and high-end consumer electronics.