Edge-mounted switch, soldered to printed circuit board, gives direct sliding contact. In the graphic to the bottom left, conventional side push switches typically measure 4.5mm deep and require a mechanical actuator to connect the user button and the dome.
Expanding LCDs on portable electronic equipment leave less board space for switches. That's one reason many of today's handheld devices feature side-push keyblock switches. Precise alignment requirements, however, drive up manufacturing cost and assembly time.
Edge-mounted switches present a low-cost alternative. And, measuring as little as 3.0 mm deep, they save even more board space. Soldered directly to the pcb, these ultra-miniature switches offer long life (to one million cycles), a 0.25- or 0.70-mm stroke, and an operating force from 1 to 5N.
K. Takamitsu, National Panasonic, Okayama, Japan; Tel: +81 6 6908 7304; Fax: +81 6 6906 1619;PAN50232@pas.mei.co.jp
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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