What is Tactile Feedback in a Keypad for Input Devices?

Tactile keypad - Linepro Controls Pvt Ltd

Tactile Keypads are those specially created to provide an indication or feedback to users following the actuation or ‘key press‘. For instance, when a button or key is pressed on a non-tactile keyboard, the user’s fingers press against the visual representation of the button. The users are unaware of the exact moment they activated the button unless there is some visual indication which assures user of receipt of input being recorded. In contrast, a tactile keypad can provide the sensation of a snap or click that provides users with haptic feedback. This feedback allows the user be aware that they have activated the keypad, technically by closing the circuit!

Want to know difference between tactile and non-tactile feedback? Read in detail.

Functioning of a Tactile Keypad

Linepro manufactures a variety of standard models of keypads, which provide tactile feedback.

Membrane Keypad or Switch that is equipped with Polydome or polyester domes are fabricated into the circuit’s upper layer or the graphic layer. There is no additional material required and the domes do not require to be installed on each of the keys. They are generally used for bulk orders to bring down the expenses.

Tactile feedback membrane keypad for an electronic controller
A tactile Membrane Keypad designed for concrete manufacturing controller
PCB based membrane keypad with metal domes for tactile feedback
A Membrane Switch with Metal Domes

Membrane Keypad or switch with Metal Dome: Domes made of stainless steel are typically employed in small and medium-sized keypad projects. They have the longest life of actuation and provide a more tactile experience than polydomes.

Silicone Rubber Keypads with Carbon Contacts: The silicone keypad is mounted over a flexible circuit or a PCB. At the lower part of the silicone, there are plungers that have carbon pills which conduct electric charge. The tactile feedback occurs when the webbing that surrounds the key breaks down, resulting in the sensation of a snap. The carbon is then able to touch the lower circuit, and the key is then actuated. The key then retrieves to its initial position once fingers are taken back and ready to be used again.

Silicone Rubber keypad with tactile feedback
A tactile Silicone Rubber Keypad for Electric bikes

Silicone Keypad with a Metal Dome: In the above design, Carbon is taken out of the silicon, and the metal dome is inserted between the plunger of silicone and the rigid or flexible circuit beneath. The dome is able to provide the sensation of a tactile touch and may make an audible click when the device is activated.

Linepro has a large collection of domes that vary in shape, size and the force at which they are actuated.

Linepro’s engineering team will provide an expert opinion on the type of dome most suitable for your application.

What are the advantages of using tactile keypads?

When a keypad isn’t tactile users only know that the button was activated when the device is performing some function. This can cause confusion over whether the button was pushed enough or in the correct manner and could lead to errors, like repeated activation. A tactile keypad can avoid this problem by making the button snap back when it was activated. The force of the snap is felt on the fingers, and, in certain cases, can generate a sound like clicking to further confirm that the button was actually actuated. In addition to avoiding confusion, the keypads are also used due to other reasons, including an easy user experience (UX). UX is crucial for consumer products, ensuring that customers have fun using your product. It can assist the customer in understanding the product in a better way.

What are the products that make use of tactile feedback technology?

Nearly every keypad is able to incorporate this technology; we all have probably used hundreds of them in our lifetime. This technology is frequently used in consumer and industrial applications. Some examples are below in photos.

If you’d like to receive consultation on our product from our sales team contact us at sales@lineproindia.com

Linepro is a full turn-key membrane keypad, metal keyboards and capacitive touch sense manufacturing company with more than thirty years experience.

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