ASM: John Arrigo
Smith & Nephew needed a solution to make visibly backlit keys that could be recognized from a distance in a medical room. The previous system had indicator lights next to the keys.
Low actuation force can result in misregistrations, having had issues with wide variations in tactile key force, S&N wanted great tactile feel in the keys. Since this device is used in a surgical situation, good user feedback is critical.
Xymox used a light pipe arrangement to backlight the entire key for this membrane switch. This allows a firm metal dome to remain in place giving great tactile feel when the keys are activated. Through prototypes, Xymox was able to achieve and prove the actuation force S&N desired. The bright backlighting is used in two configurations: a solid circle key illumination as well as rim lighting around the keys for another unit. The entire switch was sealed with XyWeld to prevent any liquids and harsh cleaners from getting in and eroding the traces.
Smith and Nephew is using Xymox products for all their future generation products and is thereby delivering a great user experience to physicians. Consider this the next time you are having an arthroscopic procedure - you want your surgeon concentrating on you, not having challenges with the controls on their equipment.