What’s that beeping noise? Whether it’s the doctor’s thermometer, the microwave timer, or your bathroom scale, many measuring devices feature some audio function as a way to help the user understand the output. Audio response in instrumentation has a variety of benefits. Not only do they add a touch of flair to your readout, but they also serve a practical function. Many manufacturers use audio as a method for indicating when the measuring process has reached an equilibrium. For instance, when measuring temperature, the measuring device may vary wildly at first, but when the thermometer beeps, then you know that the reading at that moment is the accurate one. Audio prompting can also be useful for people with poor vision or in environments that have poor lighting.
Digi-Key has produced a transducer that is 20% smaller than its predecessor. The transducer is attached to an instrument’s control board and allows for sound on even the smallest of devices. Not much larger than the tip of a pencil, the Digi-Key transducer is roughly 4 mm in size. While the phrase “bigger is better” can be applied to many things, microchips don’t fit into that category. By being smaller, the designers hope that this product can be much more useful and versatile.
Why Tiny Matters
Every piece of technology added into a device takes up physical space, so in the manufacturing process, unnecessary items are eliminated as soon as possible. Audio readouts, while often helpful, aren’t truly necessary for the product to function, so some devices leave them out for purely practical reasons. The development of these tiny chips may allow audio to be a potential feature on a lot more products. Therefore, more of the products you use may soon feature some helpful beeping as you use them.