Intelligent electrical switching device including a touch sensor user interface switch

  • US 7,498,749 B2
  • Filed: 10/30/2007
  • Issued: 03/03/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/09/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. An electronic unit for use with a product comprising connections for a power source and at least one energy consuming load, said unit comprising:

  • (a) a microchip connected to a user interface switch structure, said structure comprising at least one switch, being a touch sensor type switch that includes a sense pad;

    (b) a visible indicator controlled by the microchip to provide at least an indicator activation function when a signal is received through said user interface switch, wherein the indicator is active when the load is not activated by the user;

    (c) wherein the microchip at least partially implements the touch sensor switch and the user interface has at least one of;

    (i) an automatic delayed deactivation of a function a predetermined period after the function was activated with an activation command received from the touch sensor switch;

    (ii) the indicator, in response to the microchip receiving a user interface switch signal, activated to indicate conditions of the product; and

    (iii) a touch sensor switch sense pad being integral with a housing of the product.

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