What are the advantages of the piezoelectric effect?
The piezoelectric effect is reversible. You can apply a high voltage to the piezoelectric material to make it move, but when the piezoelectric material deforms, it generates electric charge. When you press the piezoelectric actuator, the piezoelectric material deforms slightly, and the actuator generates electric current. Piezo drives with CapDrive technology can detect current, and they can detect pressure and trigger feedback from the same actuator.
The eccentric rotating mass tactile solution can only trigger tactile feedback, so if you need to detect pressure, in addition to the tactile system, you also need a complete pressure sensing hardware system.
This means that if you need a tactile solution that is triggered when pressure is applied (for example, replacing a mechanical button), you can eliminate the sensing hardware and rely only on a piezoelectric actuator and a CapDrive piezoelectric driver. This saves a lot of space; a prototype SmartClik buttonless phone did just that.
High-resolution haptic technology vs. basic technical solutions
Piezoelectric actuators can produce more advanced tactile effects. Like speakers, they use electrical waveform signals from an amplifier (piezo driver), which can operate in a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes to produce various tactile effects. You can customize haptic feedback according to your application to create rich and detailed feedback. This is what we call high-definition haptic feedback.
On the other hand, the frequency range of ERM solutions is quite limited and cannot create the best feedback effect. This means that your range of haptic effects is quite limited, and ERM motors are limited to low-quality applications.
Piezo haptic technology brings the possibility of more advanced effects that ERM cannot replicate. Piezoelectric haptic technology is very suitable for various applications that require different haptic effects, such as AR/VR, car safety alarms, button replacement, etc.
CapDrive piezoelectric haptic technology vs. ERM technology.
New favorite of high-end electronic equipment: LRA haptic technology
From the previous discussion, we have seen that if you need a low-cost solution, vibrating motors are a good choice, but they are quite limited in terms of feedback quality, and will produce low-end rumble, not clean and clear touch effect. Therefore, in recent years, manufacturers of high-end electronic devices have turned their attention to another haptic technology ─ Linear resonant actuators (LRA).
LRA is currently used in many devices to achieve better haptic feedback than ERM solutions; compared with ERM, they have higher acceleration, faster response time and clearer haptic feedback. Like ERM motors, LRA is also based on mass motion. The difference is that the mass is suspended on the spring and moves up and down under the action of the magnetic field.
LRA has different dimensions, some are rectangular, some are round; some manufacturers even develop their own LRA versions to get better results (such as Apple's haptic engine)!
If you want to know more, our website has product specifications for piezoelectric effect, you can go to ALLICDATA ELECTRONICS LIMITED to get more information