Is this something we really need? I’m not certain that that functionality is needed on something that has proven to be a distraction for drivers already. I can’t imagine what the designers are thinking of when they spec these things.


ABI Research says that, by 2013 about 50 percent of smartphones will have inbuilt gyroscopes and accelerometers giving them functionality similar to a Wii game controller.

"When an accelerometer is combined with a gyroscope, developers are able to create applications that can sense motion on six axes: up and down, left and right, forward and backwards, as well as roll, pitch, and yaw rotations. This gives a mobile device similar functionality to a game controller such as the Nintendo Wii," ABI says.

ABI Research anticipates that gyroscopes will be just one facet of the emerging ‘sensor-driven user interface’ (UI) in the next wave of mobile UI innovation. "The growth of sensors in smartphones will be driven by applications such as gaming, location awareness, and augmented reality, as well as the expansion of motion-based commands," said senior analyst Victoria Fodale. "The high-level operating system of a smartphone, which provides open application programming interfaces (APIs), has facilitated the use of data from cameras, sensors, and GPS receivers."

ABI Research adds: "Sensors will also help OEMs to innovate beyond a touchscreen UI for differentiation in the marketplace. However added functionality must be balanced with ease of use."
According to Fodale, "There is an inherent paradox with technology. As mobile devices integrate more technology, the UI must be kept simple enough to be intuitive for the user."

I am not a Luddite, nor do I have any fear of technology, but I am thinking that there is a limit to what one should expect in the device masquerading as a phone. Multi-functions are great, but too much integration is eventually going to tax even the most adept with tech.

Touchscreens are wonderful, and the extension of that paradigm is something that should be encouraged, but pitch, yaw, and roll are only necessary if you happen to be in training to be an astronaut.


We hate some persons because we do not know them; and we will not know them because we hate them.

– Charles Caleb Colton