Sensors In Your Smartphone: How They Are Pushing Innovation


Smartphone sensors are getting better by the minute, and you can’t help but wonder about the endless possibilities that the future may hold. One day, there’s an app to calculate the number of steps you’ve taken, and the next, there’s a sensor that can measure your heart rate. So where will this innovation lead us? Here are 12 of the most popular and innovative apps that have completely changed the way smartphones work.

Mobile Device Sensors

RGB color sensor—A component used primarily to make adjustments in the camera, the RGB color sensor is sensitive to the Red, Green, Blue, and White regions of the spectrum, and helps you measure the color intensities from the light source.

Gyro sensor—Also known as angular velocity sensors, this component can sense your smartphone’s rotational motion and changes in orientation. The sensor can be used to detect shakes in cameras, sensing motion for video games, and in navigation systems.

Tilt sensor—One of the most important features in smartphones today, the tilt sensor can detect three directional motion and non gravitational acceleration. The sensor is designed to respond to all kinds of vibrations that result from movement. It is used widely in the field of quantified self movement.

Proximity sensor—The feature can help the user detect the presence of nearby objects without any kind of physical contact. It works by emitting an infrared electromagnetic field and waiting for a return signal. The sensor can also tell the user whether the phone is nearby or not.

Motion detector—Used widely in the field of mobile gaming, the motion sensor makes use of the raw data from the mobile’s input to provide a better interaction environment for the user. It can help in accurate outdoor and indoor navigation, and can also help in phone unlocking.

Gesture recognition—These are visual sensors that use mathematical algorithms to determine interpret bodily motions, especially that of the face and hands. The sensor can enhance Graphical User Interface and are utilized to a great extent in pattern recognition in smart phones.

Gravity sensor—Also used primarily in mobile gaming, the gravity sensor is a 3-axis acceleration detector that can measure the direction of gravity while the device is at rest or in motion. It is used extensively to enhance the tilt motion of mobile gaming apps.

Brightness sensor—Used to adjust the ambient light, the brightness sensor can measure the surrounding light and adjust the device’s display brightness accordingly. This can help in providing an optimal viewability and power consumption.

Temperature sensor—The sensor can measure key elements such as temperature, humidity, and pressure of a smartphone. Using this sensor can literally make your smartphone weatherproof.

Hall sensor—A hall sensor has the ability to detect a magnetic field around the smartphone device. Using this, the device can turn the screen off and on when the cover is closed or opened. The sensor also has the capacity of being used in wireless charging of a phone, but the research is still going on in the area.

Above are just a few notable sensors that we use everyday without even realizing. More such developments are expected in the near future. There’s no telling what a smartphone will be capable of in the next decade!