Wisconsin Patent of the Month – January 2021

Touch activated objects have made ordinary tasks much easier and more enjoyable. Touch lamps make turning off the light easy. No more clicking a turn switch that can be stiff or hard to grasp. Another great touch activated invention is the touch or sensor activated faucet. Many public restrooms have them so you don’t need to touch the tap after you’ve used the facilities. No need to worry about how many others have touched that same surface. There are also touch activated faucets available for the home. If your hands are full or dirty you can touch the faucet with the back of your hand to activate it. It’s also easy for kids to use. But those faucets, both sensor and touch, typically only offer an on-off touch system. You can’t adjust the pressure or temperature, so if the water is ice cold or boiling hot, it’s going to stay that way. That’s why Spectrum Brands, Inc. has developed a touch faucet that’s pressure sensitive so you can easily adjust the pressure and temperature of the water.

The touch sensitive design includes a pressure sensor to detect touch located on the outside of the faucet, making its surface touch sensitive, and an electronic control of temperature and water pressure through the spout. The surface of the faucet, being responsive to touch, can measure any pressure and apply that measurement to the water flow or temperature. Multiple sensors on the faucet can also be used, one for pressure and one for temperature, or even multiple for temperature alone to control both hot and cold water. The faucet can even feature a visual indicator to display the temperature or water pressure readings. 

Are you adapting existing technology for a new application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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