The IPTV selector panel is an example of Blue Sparq’s custom USB keypad offering. It was made for NASA’s launch command centers and was contracted to us by ITT Exelis.
Unlike mechanical push button or membrane switch keypads, our capacitive touch interfaces come with electronics. This electronics can be designed and configured so that, the system could enumerate itself as a regular computer keyboard, joystick, multimedia controller, etc. This means the button presses can be used to
- Simulate key press and release of keys found in a regular keyboard or joystick
- Send keyboard macros (a series of keystrokes such as Ctrl+Alt+Del, Ctrl+c, Ctrl+v etc.)
- Send text strings
The IPTV Selector panel has 17 buttons and the electronics was designed and configured to simulate key press and release of 17 different keys found in a regular computer keyboard. We not only supplied the electronics and graphic overlay but also designed a custom 1 RU rack mountable mechanical enclosure and supplied USB cables to the client, thereby providing a complete working system.
Aerospace clients perform reliability calculations on all their design based on MIL-STD specifications. We worked with the Systems Engineer to determine what the MTBF is for this touch interface. After going through our bill of materials and looking at the overall design and construction it was determined that the average duration of time our product will operate until it experiences a failure is 1,045,536 hours. This is about 120 years.