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MEMS: From Micro Devices to Wireless Systems

Vol. 7, Special Issue, October 2009, pp.179-190





A Novel Virtual Button User Interface for Determining the Characteristics of an Impulse Input
Based on MEMS Inertial Sensors



*VBT Innovations Inc., 920 Conc. 8 W, RR 3 Puslinch ON, N0B 2J0, Canada

***University of Waterloo, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

200 University Ave W, Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3G1

Tel.: 519-888-4567 ext. 96436, fax: 905-659-6479

E-mail: *andrew.zwart@virtualbutton.com, **mark.derige@virtualbutton.com, ***deffa@uwaterloo.ca



Received: 28 August 2009   /Accepted: 28 September 2009   /Published: 12 October 2009


Abstract: This paper introduces a novel application of MEMS accelerometers in consumer electronics for ‘Virtual Button’ technology. The MEMS accelerometer is designed to measure low-g acceleration and sense tapping motion on a cell phone, consumer electronic, medical user interface, or harsh environment user interface. In this paper we outline this patent pending application and discuss the modeling and analysis of the accelerometer designed for this purpose. Prior art in impulse localization with inertial sensors is discussed. The features of the Virtual Button user interface are presented and applications of Virtual Buttons to medical, touch screen, and hand-held electronic devices are discussed. The initial considerations for the design of an accelerometer with an operating range of 0.5-20 and noise levels of less than 0.124 mg (Hz)^0.5 are also presented.


Keywords: MEMS inertial sensors, Consumer electronic devices, Virtual button technology, Infection control, User interface


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