Another Way To Make Your Own Metal Buttons
I have to say someday I’d like to make my own metal buttons.
In the past, I’ve covered Microchip’s mTouch metal-over-cap technology (here and here), which uses capacitive technology.Â Microchip has a groovy app note which shows some of the ways you can use it, and has an eval kit available for ~$150 (base mTouch kit plus metal over cap accessory kit).
Now TI has a reference design for creating your own metal buttons using TI’s inductive sensor technology.Â TI’s reference designs provide that: a reference design with layout, calculations, and notes.Â You can’t buy them pre-made, but you can use them as a good starting point.
I’ve glanced through the manual for this reference design, and it is full of good info – and the design is pretty neat, too.Â For example, it includes two different haptic types, ERM/LRM and piezo.Â I have the HapTouch Booster Pack which features the same ERM/LRM haptics technology, and I’m not too impressed – it’s similar to the haptic feedback from a current smartphone.Â (Note that I think the problem is with the basic ERM/LRM technology, not the controller).
Other approaches to non-moving metal buttons include piezo electric and ultrasonic.