Name of Hardware Control?

Subject: Name of Hardware Control?
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2011 09:18:50 -0500 (CDT)

I'm writing about a hand-held instrument that has a flat surface. No knobs or buttons protrude.

The instrument has a display panel and under it are four white circles that are printed on the flat surface of the instrument. There must be some kind of pressure sensor under each one that recognizes when you press on the circle. These circles line up with whatever text currently appears in the bottom row of the display. Example:

Begin Pause Options Cancel

So, if I want to pause a process, I press the white circle under the word Pause. If I press the white circle under Options, an entirely new window may appear and the words at the bottom of the display may be

Edit ID Calculate Combine Back

This is why the white circles have no printed names: their function changes with each change of the UI text.

What the heck do you call them? "Pushbutton" has been suggested and I may go with it. Are other terms in use?

Thanks!
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