A customer recently contacted CSI Keyboards to help them design and manufacture a new custom tactile keypad for outdoor use. The application was a parking meter that was currently using a non-tactile capacitive switch using molded polycarbonate. The customer’s end goal was to create a keypad that had raised profile and tactile feedback with each button press, while maintaining a waterproof seal against the weather’s elements.
CSI presented them with a new design that used molded silicone rubber to give height to the keys, improve button feedback using tactile domes on a Kapton copper flex circuit, while also using the silicone rubber to provide a water tight seal for their parking meter. The final result was a more robust HMI that was completely waterproof, provided the user with tactile feedback, which was also outdoor weatherable by using a UV resistant coating. All of this was achieved while maintaining a sharp visual aesthetic for their parking meters. This keypad can now be seen on city streets across the country.