Browse Prior Art Database

BACK LIT HARD KEYS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007874D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-May-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Wille Kottke: AUTHOR

Abstract

Utilizing sotl keys in consumer products has always had some draw backs to the consumer, such as sot? tactical feel when depressing the keys, or the painted characters wearing away from the keys due to excessive use.

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Technical Developments

BACK LIT HARD KEYS

by Wille Kottke

  Utilizing sotl keys in consumer products has always had some draw backs to the consumer, such as sot? tactical feel when depressing the keys, or the painted characters wearing away from the keys due to excessive use.

  Hard keys have had their own issues as well, such as getting light to illuminate through the keys for night use.

  The combination ofthese two materials can solve both of these issues because the sotI keys (usually molded out of silicon) are capable of transmitting the light source through its membrane to the hard keys and allowing the membrane to be viewed by the user.

  For this reason, hard keys are fabricated (usu- ally by injection molding) with characters that are open/through, thus allowing the user to view the

light source of the sofi key membrane underneath.

  With this combination of &/hard keys, the prob tern of sofi tactical feel is eliminated because the hard keys won't dampen the feel, there'sno wearing of painted characters because paint would be replaced by molded open/through characters, and light would illuminate the hard keys open/through characters because the sofi keys membrane underneath allows light from the source to travel through it.

  The assembly for this soft/hard key combina- tion could consist of the following components: an outer housing that the hard keys fit into, the sot% keys fit into the hard keys and are backed up by a printed circuit board that could have LEDs at...