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Motion sensing is a critical enabling technology for space constrained mobile devices. Motion enabled user interfaces provide intuitive device control through features such as wake on motion, tap/shake based user input, portrait/landscape screen orientation, motion scrolling or gesture recognition.

Mobile gaming

Mobile gaming

Mobile gaming improves significantly when mobile device motion is used to control game input directly. Basic gaming can be supported by a 3-axis accelerometer, with improved motion control enabled with a combination of accelerometer and gyroscope (or alternatively magnetometer).

Image stabilization

Image stabilization

The latest generation of SmartPhones include high-definition (HD) camcorders, which benefit greatly from gyroscope assisted image stabilization to minimize handheld camera shake. Augmented reality browsers, which superimpose web derived scene data onto a cellphone display, require precise heading information (provided by an eCompass) and also benefit from image stabilization to insure a stable display.

Accurate navigation

Accurate navigation

Accurate navigation applications will rely heavily on data from multiple motion sensors. Net connected cellphones are increasingly used as a primary navigation device, both in-vehicle and for pedestrian use. While GPS provides accurate location outdoors, given technology limits, it is generally not available indoors or sporadically available in dense urban areas. Motion sensors support dead reckoning, where a user’s position is tracked from the last known position, enabling accurate positioning indoors and in GPS-challenged areas.

A 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer and 3-axis gyroscope are standard in virtually every SmartPhone introduced to the market today. This 9-DOF (Degree of Freedom) solution is specified by the major SmartPhone operating systems: Android, Microsoft Windows Mobile and Apple iOS. Lower cost feature phones typically include an accelerometer, and increasingly in the future magnetometers and gyroscopes.