Vibration Alerting Applications with Vibration Motors
Vibration alerting and haptic feedback are different but commonly confused. To understand this difference in more detail, take a look at our haptic feedback vs vibration alerting article. In essence, vibration alerting is about capturing an operator or user's attention, whereas haptics is about conveying information.
Vibration alerts are integrated into many different products as they are an easy way to reliably - and in some cases discretely - communicating with the operator. Perhaps the most notable example is the introduction of vibra-alerts in mobile phones. Phones vibrate when receiving a phone call or text message, a feature which has proven to be so popular that even the cheapest cell phones come with a vibration alerting capability as standard.
Because of the success in mobile phones, and advancements in motor technology, vibration alerting can be implemented in a multitude of different products of different sizes. Encapsulated vibration motors and coin vibrating motors have aided their physical integration, and our Pico Vibe range includes motors as small as 3.2mm in diameter.
Event Alerting In Handheld Equipment
Vibration alerting in handheld equipment, such as industrial tools or medical equipment, is a simple and effective way of capturing the attention of the user where more conventional visual and aural methods fall short.
In fact, this is a strong area of growth for alerting functions as traditional illumination (LED / Lamps) and sirens have been the mainstay of operator feedback for decades. Many companies making gas monitors, tyre gauges, torque wrenches, multi-meters and a host of other instruments, detectors and monitoring devices are adding vibration alerts to their products. This is particularly useful in noisy environments or areas where protective clothing like earplugs must be worn, which would impede the operator's ability to hear an audible alert.
Whereas haptic feedback provides more detailed information through varying vibration strengths, frequencies, or patterns, vibration alerting is there to grab a user's attention. It is therefore often better to start with a larger motor and scale the vibration intensity back if it is perceived to be too strong.
Since the vibrating motor performance requirements are not as strict, the drive circuitry can be simpler making it cheaper and easier to produce. We have application bulletins on discrete motor drive circuits, which can be compared to our advanced haptic feedback control bulletin.
Emergency alerting applications can be of utmost importance, where the introduction of vibrating alerts can help save lives.
By designing vibration alerts into products such as respiratory, chemical monitoring, or fire alarm equipment, and augmenting traditional sirens and visual indicators, users and operators are more likely to receive an early warning. This offers valuable time to evacuate or make remedies to the situation.
In some situations, it may not be reliable to communicate events solely through sounds or lights, and vibration alerting can help overcome these obstacles.
Another example is ensuring driver safety within the automobile industry. A number of automobile vibration alerting applications are popular for increasing the driver and passenger safety, for example, vibration alerts are used to warn a driver who may be suffering from fatigue and loss of concentration.