User interface with proximity sensing

  • US 8,035,623 B2
  • Filed: 08/03/2010
  • Issued: 10/11/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/09/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
First Claim
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1. A user interface unit for use with a product comprising a power source or a connection to a power source, to control a selection of functions or modes, said user interface unit comprising:

  • (a) a switch being a capacitive touch sensor structure; and

    (b) a microchip having at least a first input coupled to the touch sensor structure, wherein the microchip is configured for controlling the display of information and/or providing information for selecting multiple modes or functions of the product or a load in response to proximity detection signals received through said first input;

    wherein the microchip, in response to the signals received from the touch sensor, differentiates between proximity and physical contact events detected by the touch sensor to select or control different functions respectively.

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