The accelerometer is a chip nowadays very popular on mobile devices for measuring acceleration, as the name already makes it clear. In layman’s terms, the acceleration is the variation of speed in relation to time. The whole displacement of the mass implies a speed and a direction and sense. In most parts of the time, as a reference for any there will be movements that are not parallel to any axis, then the direction will be a vector with 3 components in each direction of space. The mobile phones with accelerometer can detect speed variation in the 3 axes, or, in other words, in any direction. The accelerometer reports the variation of the speed independently in each direction.
In the past, the phones came with a so-called gravity sensor with the single function of detecting the position of the device and rotate the screen. Today in days the accelerometers have become very common and are meant for games and even to give commands to the phone, such as the famous “shake control” that changes the music to give a balanced in the device. The MP15 Fun Colors and various other devices have this function.
Smartphones and phones more modern, the accelerometer may already be considered as a standard item. Many applications require the accelerometer to function as well as certain features of the operating system also. If you want to buy a mobile phone for games and if matter have many options available, be sure to check if the unit has the accelerometer.
The photo below is of a chip accelerometer that comes inside of the cell. For manufacturers, buying in large quantities the chip might cost less than 1 dollar.
Here’s an example of a racing game that is controlled by tilting the phone, generated by the accelerometer.
Another function of the accelerometer is to detect harsh braking and cornering during a GPS navigation, making the entire system more efficient. The GPS is good, but may not be as fast and detect changes of direction when at low speed.
And finally you can use the accelerometer of the phone up to swap photos during a slideshow, only shaking the handset.
Now that you’ve understood what is an accelerometer in the cell phone… your unit has one? Which device are you using? What do you use your phone, that depends on the accelerometer?