Panasonic Corporation announced today that it will commercialize an SMD push-button switch named “Light Touch Switch” that is only 0.50mm thick. The external dimension is 2.6 x 1.6mm and it is applicable to wearable and hearable devices. Mass production will start in August 2017.
Target applications include: Wearable devices (smart watches, wristbands, etc.), hearable devices (headphones, hearing aids, etc.), healthcare devices (portable medical devices, etc.), and similar electronics.
The use of hearable devices such as hearing aids is expected to increase, driven by aging societies as well as increased numbers of wearable devices due to growing numbers of IoT-enabled products. Push-button switches are installed in devices for turning their power on and off, switching functions, and controlling volume.
There is a need not only for smaller sizes and profiles, but also easy operability, tactile feedback, and waterproof and dust-proof capabilities. Using its unique precision processing technology, Panasonic has commercialized a push-button switch that works under the light operation force but gives clear tactile feedback, while successfully reducing the product thickness to the thinnest of 0.50mm.
The product achieves light operation force and a clear click feeling (tactile feedback), contributing to noise reduction during operation. The Light Touch Switch requires 1.0N of force compared with Panasonic’s conventional products that require between 1.6N and 2.4N.
The water- resistant and dust-proof design of the Light Touch Switch is suitable for wearable and hearable devices and allows it to be used both indoors and outdoors. It is compliant with IP67 level in International Protection Marking.
Product features include:
1. The industry’s slimmest 0.5mm thickness contributes to the reduction of devices in size and improves design in flexibility: With wearable and hearable devices becoming smaller, thinner, and wireless-enabled, operation switches need to be smaller and thinner to assist the space-saving design of such devices. The operability of switches normally declines as they are made thinner due to restrictions associated with their contact structure design.
Panasonic has commercialized a switch that features the industry’s slimmest 0.5mm thickness, and yet achieves excellent operability by utilizing its unique movable contact design technology, precision processing technology, and press working technology. This allows the switch to meet the need for space-saving design, contributing to making various devices smaller and thinner and improving the design flexibility of such devices.
2. The product achieves light operation force and a clear click feeling (tactile feedback), contributing to noise reduction during operation: There is an increasing need for more ergonomic and more comfortably-operated wearable and hearable devices. It is also important to minimize noise when devices such as hearing aids and headphones are operated. In the past, the operability and tactile feedback of switches deteriorated as they were made thinner, due to restrictions associated with their contact structure design.
The product is the industry’s slimmest, at 0.5mm, yet provides excellent operability and tactile feedback, and at the same time achieves noise reduction during operation through the use of our unique movable contact design technology and precision processing technology.
3. Its water-resistant and dust-proof design is suitable for wearable and hearable devices and allows it to be used both indoors and outdoors: Wearable and hearable devices that can be used both indoors and outdoors require a waterproof and dust-proof design. Panasonic’s conventional switches had a metal cover bonded to a base, which made it difficult to ensure a fully water-resistant t and dust-proof seal.
The new product achieves a watertight and dust-proof design compliant with IP67 standards as well as the slimmest through the adoption of our new sealing method, in which its cover and base undergo laser welding. This makes the switch usable for use in a wide range of environments indoors or outdoors.