Tactile feedback is one of many options for the membrane switches we create for many of our clients. But what exactly is tactile feedback, and what purpose does it serve for your personal product needs? As your nameplate, graphic overlay, and membrane switch professionals, we at Hallmark Nameplate are here to answer all of the questions you may have about tactile feedback and how it works in relation to your product.
Tactile feedback is the use of advanced vibration patterns and waveforms to convey information to a user or operator. Think touch screens in a car, or scanners at the grocery store; these are great examples of machines or tools that use some form of tactile feedback to communicate with users.
It is true that many products on the market today, electronics especially, are designed to communicate with their users. Historically, these have always been audible or visual alerts– think LEDs, beeps, and bells. Tactile feedback appeals to the sense of touch and is increasing in demand to either augment or replace “older” alert methods. It uses a vibrating component (sometimes called an actuator) to communicate with the user. Sometimes, a vibration motor is used, or a linear resonant actuator, which is actually driven by an electronic circuit.
Adding tactile feedback has two huge benefits for manufacturers. First, it can heavily improve the user experience. Even everyday products are now being built with touch displays and interfaces that use tactile feedback heavily. Secondly, they also improve the performance of the operators. Using vibrations to transmit information through a control system allows the user to concentrate on the task at hand. This can range from simple input confirmations, safety alarms, or even positioning information. Medical applications that use some sort of tactile confirmation when data has been entered has been proven to help reduce patient misdosing in hospitals.
If creating a membrane switch for a product that involves some sort of typing, using a virtual keyboard with a simple “short button” press effect differentiates greatly from the effect of a “long press.” This feedback enables the user to type quicker with less mistakes, which makes the experience less frustrating and more like typing on a real keyboard.
When it comes to creating a membrane switch that works with a product capable of tactile feedback, there are several options to choose from. At Hallmark Nameplate, you can rest assured that your membrane switches will feature robust construction, which is completely sealed from the outside environment. We manufacture membrane switches that are fully tactile, which allows us to support a wide variety of designs and applications.
Our tactile switches are internally vented for a complete seal, to protect it from the elements in a compromised environment. It is also available in an SS dome, polydome, or hydro form dome construction. Capable of more than one million actuations, it’s safe to say that our high-quality membrane switches will suit your every need.
These membrane switches are non-standard, meaning that each one is specially designed for your product specifications. Industries we serve include medical equipment, computer peripherals, and the military and aerospace industries. This allows a user interface with equipment while at the same time, protecting the machinery from contaminants, environmental hazards, and debris.
Construction elements including conductive silver, copper flex, and PCB are all able to be used in a specifically tactile membrane switch environment. With conductive silver, you can also incorporate the use of LEDs and resistors. Higher density traces are available with copper flex, and construction is endless with PCB; single, double, and multi sided construction are available along with multiple connector options.
Hallmark Nameplate’s membrane can also be provided with or without terminating connectors as well as:
- LED indicator lights
- Backlight (LED, fiber optic, EL)
- Chemical and Weather Resistant
- ESD/EMI/RFI Shielding
- Various connector configurations
There are plenty of other questions that have to be answered when you’re planning to create a membrane switch, and working with a dedicated, world-class company is just one of the steps you can take toward a successful, functioning product. Hallmark Nameplate’s sincere focus on your product from conception to design to completion is reason enough to get your project going. If you have more questions about the tactile function of membrane switches or would like to get your product created, contact us today!