Do you know the hidden meaning behind power button symbol? You see this power symbol many times a day. Weather you are interacting with your computer or mobile phone or any other electronics gadget. Nearly all electronic devices have power buttons or power switches. But how much do you know about the history of Power Button Symbol and hidden meaning behind power symbol?

History of Power Button Symbol

The well known on/off power symbol was the result of the logical evolution in user interface design. Originally, most early power controls consisted of switches that were toggled between two states separated by the words ON and OFF. That action was completed by using a slider or lever which move to either of these two positions. You might also see Power written on those switches if you get hold of any of those antiques. Later on as the microprocessor advanced these lever type button was replaced by push button switches for computers and other electronic devices.

History of power button symbol

Image from Google Images

Meaning Behind Power Button Symbol

As technology advanced, these English words (On & Off) are now replaced by the universal numeral symbols “1” and “0” (typically without serifs) to bypass language barriers. This 1 and 0 standard is still used on toggle power switches. So from the Binary Number System, 1 (or the vertical line) stands for Power ON and 0 (or the circle) indicates Power OFF.

Now, to create the power button symbol for a single on/off button, the “1” and “0” symbols were super-imposed onto each other to create the universally recognized power symbol used today. Because of widespread use of this symbol, a campaign was launched to add the set of characters to Unicode.

meaning behind power button symbol

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Symbol Definitions

Power button symbol  IEC 5007, the power on symbol (line), appearing on a button or one end of a toggle switch indicates that the control places the equipment into a fully powered state. It comes from the binary system (“1” means “on”).

power button symbol IEC 5008, the power off symbol (circle) on a button or toggle, indicates that using the control will disconnect power to the device. It comes from the binary system (“0” means “off”).

power button symbol IEC 5009, the standby symbol (line partially within a broken circle), indicates a sleep mode or low power state. The switch does not fully disconnect the device from its power supply. This may appear on a toggle switch opposite a power on symbol, alone on a push-button that places the device into a standby state, or alone on a button that switches between on and standby. Alternatively, under IEEE 1621, this symbol simply means “Power”. Source: wikipedia


So this is the history and meaning behind power button symbol. You you see bower button on any device (which you will), just remember this article and don’t forget to comment and SHARE this article also. Let others also know this useful information about power button symbol.

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