To improve the operability of electronic products, Alps Electric Co. Ltd. developed the Force Reactor AF series of short-vibration feedback devices, which generate an array of vibration settings. Many electronic components such as mobile phones and car navigation systems are equipped with an increasing number of touch panels, input sensor devices and other equipment that are operated by the touch of a fingertip. These devices require visual confirmation of input. Recently, however, demand is rising for vibration, clicking and other sensory functions at the fingertips to indicate to users that their input has been properly accomplished. The common method of creating vibration has been to use eccentric vibration motors such as those driving mobile phone vibration functions, piezoelectric devices and other devices. However, Alps has developed proprietary magnetic circuitry to drive an oscillator supported by a spring. The results of user actions can then be relayed back as tactile sensations (force feedback), and users are provided with a confirmed status of their input. One prime application for this method would be in car navigation systems, where being able to carry out input without sight improves safety during driving time and contributes to universal product design.
Alps-applied actuator technology cultivated in the development of floppy disc drives to the development of the Reactor AF series. By using magnetism and spring tension for vibration control, balance is created and short vibration is accomplished, thereby enabling a variety of vibrations. Moreover, with vibration strengths of 0.8 G and 1.9 G for the S and L types, respectively, a measure of flexibility is provided to optimize for desired size or vibration power. The S and L types are further differentiated, also respectfully, by the following parameters: ratings voltage (3.3 V and 3.3 V to 5 V), time of applied voltage (3 pulse/1.1 ms and 2 pulse/1.5 ms), peak current (82.5 mA and 120 mA), driving current (41.3 mA and 60 mA), and dc resistance (40 W and 27.5 W).
The S-type Force Reactor AF weighs 0.8 g and has dimensions of 3.0 mm × 25.0 mm × 2.5 mm. The L-type weighs 5.1 g and has dimensions 7.5 mm × 35.0 mm × 5.0 mm.
Alps Electric Co. Ltd. • (408) 361-6400 • http://www.alps.com/