Haptics engineering expertise showcased at Automotive Interiors Expo Novi

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The trend might be for touchscreens to replace conventional switches, but expensive-feeling, tactile buttons throughout the cabin remain an important part of a luxury car interior. Hence Snaptron has been showcasing its range of dome switches, which define the tactile feeling behind the plastic buttons, at this week’s Automotive Interiors Expo in Novi, Michigan.

The company’s director of global sales Brian Winbourn says, “We have some new products we’re working on that are set to launch next year. One of the requirements in automotive that we’ve seen is the need for redundancy – they want to close two circuits at the same time for safety. To fill that need for redundancy, we’re developing a ‘ring dome’.” Other benefits include a reduced risk of contamination, as there is a larger area of contact.

“We’re really good at customization – we have an extensive standard product range, but we can also customize the tactile response. For example, both Audi and BMW want to engineer feel into their buttons, but Audi likes a loud, audible click, while BMW like a softer click. We know the characteristics that make the click, so we can tailor the specifications to the customer’s needs.”

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