Japanese electronic components manufacturer ALPS Electric has developed the SKTQ series TACT Switch, which began mass production in December 2017. Today's automobile cabins are quieter than ever, as sounds like the noise of the engine running and the vehicle moving along the road have been reduced due to increasingly airtight chassis and the emergence of hybrid and electric vehicle technologies.
As for car navigation systems, centre consoles and other in-vehicle systems, automakers seek a sharp operating feel to go with touch technology, which is replacing conventional mechanical input. This is especially the case for premium vehicles in the European market.
In addition, the increasing use of electronics in automobiles means there is more circuitry around the driver's seat, demanding even greater miniaturisation of electronic components inside systems.
ALPS Electric has developed and commenced mass production of the SKTQ series TACT Switch, employing an internal structure to retain the compact dimensions of the existing SKSU series - a product with an extensive track record in mass production as a TACT Switch for automotive use - while enabling quiet operation as well as a high 5N operating force and definite clicking feel that are suitable for automotive use.
This helps to prevent accidental operations while driving and realises a clear-cut operating feel that goes well with touch panel control. Furthermore, the pre-stroke design prevents play during initial operation for a premium feel from this middle-stroke switch.
Besides the 5N operating force product, ALPS Electric is considering adding 3.5, 4 and 4.5 varieties to the lineup through which it will contribute to a more comfortable experience for vehicle users.