Tag Archives: accelerometer

Accelerometers: How Cell Phones Know Up from Down Science, Technology & Curiosity 19 APR 2015

Engineering professor Bill Hammack is a well known science and technology documentarian who has been the face of his engineerguy.com project for quite a number of years now.

In this video he explains how it is that a smartphone knows whether it is orientated in landscape or potrait mode – essentially whether it lying on its side or not.

(I’ll give you a hint: it’s because of the accelerometer).

Besides taking us through the concept of the accelerometer, Bill also gives us an idea of just how exactly one of such tiny size is actually created by engineers in the first place!

I think it is absolutely amazing (and mind boggling!) when one starts thinking at the tiny scale engineers need to think and reproduce these inventions at.

girl holding a cell phone on its side - LG GD900 transparent phone

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZVgKu6v808

Android App: SmartTraining CodeUnit 20 JAN 2012

Although you wouldn’t say it by the look of me, I do actually do a fair bit of exercise and training. Because I’m loathe to spend a lot of money on training aids, I was looking for a low cost or free pedometer for my Samsung Galaxy Ace Android smartphone when I came across the SmartTraining App by Japanese developer awwa.

It is a free, simple to use pedometer app that makes use of both the accelerometer sensor and the GPS capabilities of your phone to keep track of the duration of your training, the number of steps taken (configurable stride length), the distance travelled (for accuracy, ensure you have a GPS lock, indicated by the satellite icon with a green tick in the top bar next to the exercise type icon), the number of calories burned (configurable weight and exercise type), as well as the average speed travelled.

Your sessions are saved in a list which you can revisit to compare, you can graph each trip as well as view the map courtesy of Google Maps functionality.

There are a fair bit of configurable settings you can play around with, as well as the ability to export your data to a number of sources.

After using it for a number of weeks now, I have to admit that I find it quite a useful application for tracking my progress, and the fact that it is such an easy to use application is a definite plus.

Whilst there are one are two little rough spots which I would have preferred to be more polished in design and interface, overall this app works really well and does exactly what it says it does, making it well worth the effort of downloading and giving a spin if you are in the market for a free pedometer app.

As per usual, to install simply search for “SmartTraining” in the Android Marketplace, and follow the steps from there! :)

Related link: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.awwa