iSuppli reports that accelerometers are expected to appear in one-third of mobile phones shipped next year, due to their inclusion in the popular iPhone and Palm Pre handsets.
The iPhone's accelerometer detects when you rotate iPhone from portrait to landscape and changes the display accordingly. The iPhone's 3-axis MEMS accelerometer motion sensors are also used to control many iPhone games, power management and shake modes to control music shuffle, undo, pedometers and a host of context aware apps.
The accelerometer also works in conjunction with digital compass found in the new iPhone 3GS.
With their capability to detect and measure motion, accelerometers are the critical enablers of these features, which are an essential element of what makes these smart phones so popular. These capabilities now are spreading beyond smart phones to other types of handsets.
iSuppli’s teardown of the iPhone 3GS revealed the use of a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer from STMicroelectronics. Its teardown of Palm Pre identified a Kionix Inc. MEMS accelerometer and inclinometer.
But Apple and Palm aren't the only players, 38 percent of new Nokia handsets have integrated motion-sensing accelerometers since January. Sony Ericsson had the highest penetration of accelerometers, with 18 out of 19 new phones models introduced this year. Samsung and LG also are offering new phones with 3-axis accelerometers.
I find the iPhone's accelerometer particularly fun in the Dinner Spinner app and in dice games like Motion X Poker. It's also especially effective in the iPhone version of the classic Labyrinth game. However, I find that the accelerometer gets in the way in iPhone's Shake To Undo feature and I wish that I could turn it off.
What's your favorite application of the iPhone's accelerometer?