There are things we take for granted. Images we see everyday of our lives that we know what we are supposed to use it for, even if we may not know the meaning or history behind it. One such symbol is the on and off power button that is practically on every device from a mobile, television, laptop, and game consoles. Whatever machine you use, by lightly touching the power button on it, it can activate and deactivate instantly. You may be surprised to discover that this symbol did not come about by chance. It’s actually a thought out icon that is universally recognized. It’s amazing to learn how much consideration went into this symbol. And it’s all to make our lives or at least our electronics user friendly.Initially, electronic devices had the word “on” and “off written on them. But as technology has grown in leaps, a universal symbol had to be applied.
The English words for on and off had to be replaced with universal numerals 1 and 0.
Technology forced interface symbols to be recognized and understood regardless of the language the user speaks.
Binary numbers can be expressed using the digits of 0 and 1.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers thought this was still too vague and changed the definition to simply mean “power.”
Although, this symbol does not mean the device is fully turned off. When the button is pressed the electronic goes into sleep mode or low power state.
The I represented the electrical current running while the 0 simply meant that there was no electrical flow.
Unicode is the universal standard in the computing industry. A proposal was made in 2015 requesting that the power button is included in Unicode. It is expected to be approved this summer.
Engineers behind the symbol had no idea their creation would be cool enough to be on T-shirts, earrings, and cufflinks. Other companies have used the symbol as part of their brands’ logos.
Some users complain that by pressing the button they don’t actually know if their devices are on or off. One way to tell is if you see a light in green lit up, your electronic is on and if it’s red, it’s off.
In 2010, the city’s health department announced they would use the label on condom wrappers.
Since it’s introduction into everyday electronics, the symbol has evolved in how it’s been displayed but the correct one is the broken 0 with the I.