Aimpad vs. Flaretech


Aimpad™ vs. Flaretech Technology

Switch Types

Aimpad supports a large variety of popular mechanical switches including Cherry MX RGB, Gateron, Zealios, and Matias switches. Several different varieties of “linear”, “tactile”, and “clicky” switches have been validated, but the Cherry MX RGB switch is the recommended switch.

The Flaretech switches currently consists of only 2 types: Linear “Red” and Clicky “Blue” switches.

Analog Sensing Range

Aimpad can sense the entire range of the key press from the very top to the very bottom.  Due to the design of the Flaretech switch, it is not possible to measure the entire key press. Only the switch position between 1.5mm and 3.6mm of the key press can be measured.  In other words, a user has to press the switch down 1.5mm before any response can be detected and the effective range is 2.1mm compared to Aimpad’s full 4mm range:

Flaretech Switch

Analog Range: 4mm
Initial Activation: 0.01mm
Analog Range: 2.1mm
Initial Activation: 1.5mm

This is not a trivial difference.  If you want your game character to move slowly, or steer a vehicle slightly, your instinct would be to press the switch down a small amount.  However, with the Flaretech Switch you have to press the switch 37% of the way down before you would even begin to start moving slowly.  This is essentially a very large hardware limited “deadzone” where no analog activity can be detected or used. This creates a significant usability issue for the user because it is not clear how soon the switch will respond until after it starts responding.  This leads to issues with over correction and under correction and creates a frustrating and non-intuitive gaming experience.

Analog Steps

Current Flaretech switch implementations have only 256 analog “steps” that are detected.  Aimpad can detect 3-4 times as many steps depending on the switch being used.  Currently Cherry MX Red switches provide the biggest range of the most popular switches with over 1000 “steps” that can be detected using a 12-bit resolution.

Analog Performance

The following graphs compare the typical analog performance of an analog keypress using an Aimpad enabled Keyboard using Cherry MX switches and the analog performance of a keyboard using Flaretech Analog switches.

Due to a variety of inconsistencies in manufacturing and sensing methods the analog performance provided by the Flaretech switch is not smooth or consistent.  By contrast, the consistency and reliability in performance of a Cherry MX Red switch combined with per key calibration from Aimpad provides the best analog keyboard performance possible.

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