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Methode Electronics, Inc.

TouchSensor's Field-Effect Technology

The Methode touch cell enabled the first application of a touch panel in an instrument panel center stack. Ford wanted to offer Explorer customers a similar look and feel to what they were experiencing with many other electronic devices, and went to the supply base looking for options. Methode fit the bill with the touch cell "field effect" switch, winning out over the capacitive switch technology. The Methode Touch Cell is lower in cost than conventional knob designs, yet better in just about every aspect including package, current draw, fewer parts and easier to engineering, with greater reliability, and superior appearance. Compared with capacitive switches that could offer similar advantages versus knob switches, the Touch Cell is significantly faster, more precise and localized, is robust to temperature extremes, is software free, has lower quiescent current draw, and importantly, allows styling flexibility for boldly shaped or contoured surfaces.