All about new mobile Gyroscope and NFC technology

All about new mobile Gyroscope and NFC technology

Introduction to mobile gyroscope and Near Field Communications technology . Everything that you should know about the new technologies in Android. The potential of mobile gyro and NFC system.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread was recently released as an update to 2.2 Froyo. Among the hundreds of bug fixes and user interface improvements, we can find the support for Near Field Communications and Gyroscope sensors, two pretty peculiar features that most people have not even heard about and are wondering what they are, how do they work and why should they care.

While these 2 technologies and OS features aren’t exactly revolutionary or life changing, they do have their uses, and will most definitely start becoming more widespread as more developers and users start creating and using apps for them.

Near Field Communications (or NFC for short) is to be used in one of the most promising future payment systems in the US, Isis. Japan has integrated something similar to this quite a while ago with their Mobile Felica wireless payment system, and all of the new phones support it, giving them the possibility to pay for groceries, electronics, and train tickets with nothing more than a swipe of their phone over the receiving sensor. NFC is also the perfect solution for the virtual business card problem. A lot of companies and developers have tried solving it with universal software and other add-ons, but failed. With an NFC chip in every phone, everyone gets the ability to send any data to anyone else s phone.

NFC is basically an improved RFID, only instead of having a “dumb” RFID chip and a “smart” reader/writer device that can send and store data, you have two smart RFID chips that can send and receive any data they want. Of course, support for it is pretty limited (extremely limited, in fact), and only the new Nexus S has it integrated, but with support from Android, and hopefully other mobile and desktop operating systems in the future, NFC could become very widespread.

Now, the other feature of Gingerbread, support for gyroscope sensors, can also be pretty useful. Currently, only the iPhone 4 and the new Nexus S have 3D gyroscopes integrated, but in the future, all the phones should have it, so it makes sense to add software support right now.

A gyroscope sensor can be used for a lot, mostly minor things, like measuring the level of the phone and controlling it with movement gestures. While an accelerometer can sense only 3 directions, a gyroscope can sense 6 and can know exactly in which position the phone is relative to the Earth’s surface. The most obvious example of using the gyroscope is the Landscape/Portrait mode auto-switch, which can be much faster, more accurate and smoother using the gyroscope rather than the accelerometer.

I’m sure the developers will find even more good uses for these new technologies, and now you know how they can be used to improve your daily life.

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