5 useful functions of an accelerometer in a smartphone

An accelerometer is a part of a mobile phone that records changes in its position in space. When the phone tilts, moves from vertical to horizontal position, the accelerometer detects the angle of inclination. But why is this function needed in practice?

Pedometer function

The accelerometer can detect changes in the position of the phone that are typical for human steps. Based on these changes, it determines the number of steps taken and acts as a pedometer.

At the same time, the accelerometer itself may not take into account the error and count as steps those movements when the user simply shakes the phone. Usually, a gyroscope is installed in the phone together with an accelerometer. This combination makes the pedometer function more accurate.

Changing the position of the screen

Automatic screen rotation is a function that only works thanks to the accelerometer. When the user tilts the phone, moves it from vertical to horizontal, the screen orientation changes.

Control in mobile games

The accelerometer is sensitive to tilt angle changes. Therefore, it is used to control movements in mobile games. For example, tilting the phone to the right will be counted as tilting to the right in the game itself. In most cases, the accelerometer is used to control racing games or shooters.

Controlling your phone with gestures

With the accelerometer, users can control their phone by tilting it or shaking it. For example, on many models of smartphones, to turn off the alarm or drop an incoming call, you just need to tilt the phone or shake it. The accelerometer records the changes and initiates an action (turning off the alarm, resetting the call, etc.) based on the algorithms set by the user.

Using your phone as a gamepad

The accelerometer allows you to make a full-fledged gamepad out of an ordinary phone for playing games on a computer or game console. In this case, you must use special software, for example, Monect PC Remote. After the settings, the user will be able to control the movements in the game using the movements of the phone. However, this will require other parts of the mobile device: a gyroscope and a magnetic sensor.


by Abdullah Sam
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