Keys and buttons, are they doomed?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by atferrari, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. atferrari

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    I have only experience in including keypads, keyboards or isolated pushbuttons in my designs.

    Last night I was watching a young girl using her mobile with just gentle touches of fingers and started to wonder if keys / buttons will disappear from everywhere.

    I am so used to an environment where there always are one two or even three (emergency) buttons in the open, continuously exposed to weather of any kind. No surprise they are big and robust.

    Are we going to see buttons / keys confined in the end to those demanding uses only?

    If you ask, albeit the so many astounding implementations existing around, I still find myself more at ease with a good keayboard providing a gentle feedback when typing.
  2. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Time will tell. It is difficult to see the difference between fads, fashions and more long-lasting innovations too near to the event. Only when touch screens have been around for a long time will their full range of advantages and disadvantages be understood.

    It seems clear though that not all applications are equal. For instance, a mobile device for casual use by young people with good eyesight and dexterity does not have the same constraints as a terminal for long-term professional use, let alone for use in more challenging situations (e.g. for the emergency services, the military, or disabled/elderly users).

    One major disadvantage of touch-screen displays though is power consumption. This is not such a big worry for a mobile with a lithium battery that gets charged every day or so, but would you want to have to charge everything like that regularly, including TV remotes and the gadgets that many people unlock their cars with?

    Horses for courses, I would say.
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Complexity and cost is always an issue. Which is cheaper, a full touch screen with CPU and the works or a button. Then there are the hobbiests, while they may want all the bells in whistles why would they go with something so complex when a 12¢ button would do?
  4. Lundwall_Paul


    Oct 18, 2011
    Call it my age but for now I rather flip the switch. This way I know if it on or off and I won't be second guessing the software. This is coming from a test engineer who used VXI switch matrix and was good at it. Perhaps I just want to be in control.
  5. Adjuster

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Safety applications are a special case. Indirectly operating touch-screens mediated by microprocessors are not a good idea in the sort of situation where life may be at stake, for instance an emergency shut down.

    Imagine a situation where a pilot needed to operate his ejector seat, but unfortunately just as he tried to do so he saw the display showing "Windows has encountered a problem and has to close." Along with his final prayers, he might have said a word or two about whoever designed that system.
  6. nerdegutta


    Dec 15, 2009
    The blue screen of death.

    But in this case, it's kind of cool.