Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4, unveiled by the company today, is the world's first smart phone to sport a MEMS gyroscope, confirming earlier speculation. Look for every smartphone vendor to add a gyroscope their offerings by Christmas 2010. R.C.J.
Apple (Cupertino, Calif.) continues to set the pace for its competitors by adding a three-axis MEMS gyroscope to complement its pioneering use of a MEMS accelerometer, which has since been universally adopted by other smartphone vendors. Likewise, by the 2010 holiday season, it is expected that all the major handset vendors will announce gyro-enabled smartphones. Gyroscopes enable much more responsive user interfaces by allowing various motions to control action, a concept pioneered in the consumer market by Nintendo's MotionPlus add-on for its Wii video game controller. Now like the Wii, the iPhone can be used to recognize detailed gestures—such as air-signing a check--as well as allow its use as a 3D mouse when controlling a computer mouse or large screen TV. Other MEMS and capacitive sensors quietly added by Apple to the new iPhone 4 will further enhance motion processing including a proximity sensor akin to Wii's sensor-bar, an ambient light sensor and dual noise-canceling-silicon microphones.
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