Membrane switches and mechanical switches rely on the movement of flexible layers. SSI Electronics’ capacitance switch technology does not require any moving layers, greatly extending the potential life of the switch.
Because capacitance technology does not rely on the flexing of the interface overlay, rigid material can be used as the human interface. This allows for the integration of high-end materials such as glass or thick plastic sheet.
Competing switch technologies typically require at least five ounces of pressure in order to activate the switch. With integrated capacitance switch technology, there are no minimum actuation force requirements. In fact, switches can be designed to activate as the user comes within proximity of the switch.
How Do Capacitance Switches Work?
Membrane switches and other traditional switch technologies require a conductive layer to be pressed in order to make contact with a conductive switch pad. In contrast, capacitance switches work by integrating capacitance sensing electronics. As the user’s finger gets closer to the switch’s surface, the switch’s electronics detect a change in the capacitance of the surface. The sensitivity of this detection can be adjusted to accommodate the materials used, as well as the desired actuation force.