Capacitive Touch Switch for Mobility Industry

An input allowing a person with limited dexterity to activate switched items in a car.

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Jelly Button, Push Buttons, Toggles, all these are switches currently used by technicians in the Aftermarket Mobility industry to allow individuals to activate their horn, turn signals, or any number of items in a vehicle. They all have one thing in common, they are designed for a person with good manual dexterity, and usually meant to be used in a more industrialized area, not the automobile. While they work for a great deal of people that need them they usually do not blend into the vehicle, and there are still people that can't use them well. The Jelly button switches( work, but are really sensitive to vibration when installed in vehicles. I am proposing building a capacitive touch se

Currently switches used in the mobility industry are of a momentary/latching SPDT, SPST N/O, SPST N/C style. there are other styles but these are the primary. These switches even the ones that are designed for the industry are industrial looking, and look foreign in a automobile. Each have their pros and cons. The main cons are that they look out of place in modern vehicles, and can't be used by every person. This requires a shop to stock many types of switch and potentially using a best fit even though it isn't ideal. A common benefit of the switch style I am proposing is that it can be made to look while not stock to the vehicle, at least not like an eyesore. Capacitive touch sensors are being used in many places, but the technology has not filtered in to the Mobility Industry as of yet.

Benefits of having a touch sensor are that instead of having to manipulate a switch, the person would only have to touch an area that has been made into a sensor. The touch area, could be hidden behind a panel in the door, dash or other area, or could be mounted in a cloth/leather/vinyl bolster that matches the interior, but still at the very least matches the interior of the vehicle.

The Switch would be active, meaning that it would require power and ground, but would have outputs that could match the style of switch that it would replace. It would require more connections to the vehicle, but not any more so than the Technicians in the industry are used to dealing with.

  • 1 × AVR/PIC Atmel based design for simplicity, or possibly a PIC depending on best fit.
  • 1 × Leather/Vinyl;/Cloth Covering to disguise the switch in a vehicle.
  • 1 × Relays Relays used to emulate switch styles and make the switch reliable.

  • Design work ready for prototype.

    Charles D Stutzman04/25/2016 at 04:09 0 comments

    I have done some initial layout work, with the intent to build a model in the near future. It looks like the boards will be about 2" by 1.25" without going to highly exotic parts. At quantity the boards would run about $6 each. At prototype quantities, substantially more, at about $42 each.

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