Navigation Control Technology
November 2005
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The company’s Ergo-NAV is a 360-degree and N-way variable-rate pointing and navigation control technology for handheld and portable devices. The technology provides human interface device technology said to maximize functionality for end-users while meeting designers’ criteria of durability, reliability, small form-factor, design flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. The pointing and navigation disk devices are said to significantly enhance handheld and portable device functionality and capabilities, allowing the addition of more advanced applications such as GPS, Microsoft Office and gaming. The technology combines an electrically variable-resistive rubber sensor, plastic components, mechanical design geometries, and sophisticated firmware algorithm—all requiring minimal printed circuit board (PCB) space. When a user deflects an actuator, it translates user motion and rolls in two dimensions on a circular resistive rubber sensing element that defines a contact location on a circular PCB electrical contact pad. The position of the actuator is accurately determined using the firmware algorithm. This analog output can be digitized and processed by virtually any standard processor. According to the company, the variable-rate pointing and navigation devices are designed for more than 3 million life cycles with high reliability and durability. Design flexibility includes three options: a standard reference design (straight drop-in); module design (reference design with customized actuator and without PCB); or a custom solution.

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