How Times Have Changed
Being someone who all through their life has been interested in all electronic devices and especially audio / visual equipment, please try and understand how strange it now feels to walk into a major electrical / electronic retail outlet and head straight for the home appliance section. Now some of you reading this will no doubt be calling me a bit sad or even think that I have lost all my marbles. Well let me try and prove to you that those boring white metal cabinets that used to be hidden away from view in a utility room or behind fitted kitchen cabinet doors are now becoming objects to be shown off and be proud of.
Consider just for a minute the quantum leaps in technology and design, items like washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and cooking devices have gone through in the last few years. Remember the old ‘clunky’ push button switches, rotary selection knobs and very basic filament lamp indicators you used to find on these items? Not any more. Surely it is not only me that marvels at the sleek lines of the latest refrigerators with their MP3 docking stations built in for music while you cook or for enabling the download of recipe information. And how about the aesthetically pleasing ergonomically designed user interfaces now employed on washing machines and dishwashers? All these innovations have been driven by the consumers wish for better looking, higher performing, and lower energy consuming devices. The use of membrane switches with seven segment displays and LED illumination incorporated onto the switch substrate not only bring benefits to the manufacturer in ease of assembly and a lower number of inventory items, but also provide the end user with a much more pleasurable operating experience.
Capacitive switching is another great innovation that has found a natural home in the appliance market. The ability to have a completely flat panel with any number of different-shaped switch icons shown on it has revolutionized the user interface experience on cooking devices. Click wheels, sliders, audible and vibration feedback are all common features of today’s induction and electric ceramic hobs, microwave and traditional ovens.
Molex is proud to be the world’s leading manufacturer of membrane switch panels and also has the expertise, experience and imagination to help bring customers capacitive switching requirements to life
Having read back what I have just written above I understand that most of you will not be convinced about or share my enthusiasm for these products, and I am sure most of you will still head for the audio / visual sections of your nearest store, but hopefully I have made you think that next time you need to purchase a new refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher or cooking device the whole process should be a lot more fun than it used to be.