Sunday, May 22, 2011

Future iPhones Could Come With Sensors To Detect Elevation, Mood & Lots More

Apple’s iPhone already comes with a number of sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity light sensor, ambient light sensor and digital compass that enhance user experience.

So what should we expect in the future iPhones? The New York Times' Nick Bilton spoke with Benedetto Vigna, General Manager of the MEMS division of STMicroelectronics, a company that creates sensors for mobile devices to find out the answer to that question.
According to Benedetto Vigna, we should expect the following types of sensors in mobile devices in the future:
  • Altimeter sensors that would be able to detect your elevation. Vigna explains how the altimeter sensors could be used: “These sensors will tell people what floor they are on in a building, or could be used to more precisely determine where you are in relation to your friends on a location-based service.”
  • Heart monitors to keep tab of your health.
  • Sensors to detect perspiration.
  • Sensors could be used to monitor your excitement level and even mood. He explains that sensors that can detect mood and excitement will usher in an era of video games that will factor in emotion during gameplay.
  • More microphones, and temperature and humidity sensors to better determine their location and surroundings.
  • Some companies are working on sensors for security and privacy on mobile phones. According to him, one way to do this is to build software that detects how you hold and interact with the device — almost like a motion fingerprint. After you use a new phone for a short period of time, it will start to learn your patterns and automatically lock or unlock the phone accordingly. This could be used for more secure banking too.
Mr Vigna explains:
”Sensors will be everywhere in the next few years and will be able to help people become more conscious of the environment and our own health.”
We can’t wait to see these sensors making it to the next generation iPhone. What about you? Let us know in the comments below.

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