Tactile switches, also known as tact switches, are on/off switches that are only “on” when under pressure, such as when a button is pressed. Once the pressure is removed from the switch, the circuit is broken. Given the way they work, tactile switches are reliant on user interaction, although may also be operated by a machine. Most tactile switches are used with printed circuit boards (PCB).
What is a tactile switch?
Tactile switches are electromechanical switches typically designed for use in automotive, industrial, and telecommunications machines and products. There are several types of tactile switch available depending on the context in which they are needed.
What are tactile switches good for?
Tactile switches are used in keyboards, keypads, instruments that require intermittent use, and interface control panel applications. The way in which tactile switches work means they’re suitable for use in a range of environments and consumer products, as well as industrial processes.
What is the difference between linear and tactile switches?
Tactile switches typically require a higher level of pressure to close a circuit the closer they get to doing so, although in a consumer electronics context, users may not notice this. In contrast, linear switches close a circuit whether weak or strong pressure is applied.
Are tactile switches quiet?
Some tactile switches are quieter than others. For example, computer keyboards produced for use in offices may have a different type of tactile switch to reduce keyboard noise, although the force applied by users is often the most significant factor in the noise made.