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Method to Reuse Electrical Contacts in a Keypad and to Improve Key-Packing Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020073D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-25

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Today's electronical devices may have many buttons or keys, like for example a keypad of a mobile phone. In such a keypad usually one electrical contact is used per functional key. The following text proposes a method which offers a reduction in the number of electrical contacts in a keypad and improves key-packing. The core of the idea is to introduce so called 'proto-keys' and 'meta-keys'. Hereby a proto-key has no functionality per se, but a combination of them is able to compose at least one meta-key which represents a certain functionality or value. In contrast to an 'active' proto-key, which is provided with an electrical contact, a 'passive' proto-key does not have an electrical contact, but is a mock-up employed for aesthetics and to achieve a better pressing surface. The keys are characterized by the following points (the mentioned figures show several embodiments):