Unknown Facts About The ON & OFF Power Button, Why Do They Have That Symbol?

Power Button unknown facts

UnMask: The Facts of ON and OFF Button

On a daily basis, we switch ON and OFF a lot of electronic items. May it be your laptop, PC, washing machine or just your fan, all of them have a similar Power ON and OFF switches. I’m sure you observed that! But why does the power button have that symbol of a line cut into a circle, something like the one shown below. What does that symbol mean? You will be surprised to know that such small button has got a real significance to it.

on off switch unknown facts

Unknown Facts About The ON and OFF Button

If you closely look into the power button, you will find the symbol in the form of an ‘I’ cut inside an ‘O’. But that’s not I & O. Those are 1 and 0 in reality. Wondering what 1 and 0 is doing on the power button? Here’s the reason. This symbol came into existence during the time of the 2nd world war, the engineers at that time suggested this symbol with 0 and 1 to be placed on the electric devices. Now you might be wondering – why only 0 and 1?

As we all know, the computer does not understand human language. Computer’s and other electronic devices only understand binary language, which is only 0’s and 1’s. All the information processing takes place in binary format only in the computers. Based on the same 0’s and 1’s, the construction of the logic gates was done which laid the basic blocks of modern computing technology.

Apparently, 0 means OFF and 1 means ON in the switches. Since we use the same button for both ON and OFF in modern electric devices the engineers came up with a new representation. That is the one which we see on our Laptops and computers and elsewhere. Later in the year 1973 the International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) this symbol was set as a standard.


So that was the truth behind the ON and OFF button symbol. Hope you guys found it interesting. If you did, then please do share it with your friends and family to save a cute cat. Just kidding! It’s fun, Keep sharing!


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