In this developing world, we are growing at a rapid rate. Every day we are introduced to new technologies that change our lives. In this blog, I want to talk about different types of sensors used in mobile phones. These sensors get refreshed time and again with the latest and greatest. Before we get into the different types of sensors in our smartphones, we must first know the fundamental definition of sensors.
So What are Sensors?
By definition, a sensor is a device that detects and responds to some input from the physical environment.
Different Types of sensors (in mobiles)
Following are Different types of sensors used in today’s smartphones:
So the first sensor is Accelerometer Sensor. It is the most widely used sensor. It measures the acceleration the handset experiences relative to free fall. The same sensor is used to determine a device’s orientation along its three axes. Apps use this data to tell if a phone is in portrait or landscape orientation or if its screen is facing upward or downward.
Another type of sensor is the Gyroscope Sensor. It is also used to provide orientation information like how much the device is tilted. The difference is that it is more precise or more accurate. Due to this particular sensor, Android’s Photo Sphere camera feature can tell about how much a phone has been rotated and in which direction. Google’s Sky Map also uses Gyroscope Sensor. It determines the direction towards which our phone is pointed. Pokemon Go also makes use of Gyroscope sensor.
Another type of sensor is the Magnometer Sensor. It is not present in all smartphones but is present in most of the phones. Magnometer helps in detecting the magnetic fields. It is this particular sensor which is used by the compass applications to point at the planet’s North-Pole. Some apps have also been developed to detect metal. These apps also make use of this unique sensor.
Next up we have the proximity sensor, which comprises an infrared LED and an IR light detector. It is placed near the earpiece in a phone. This sensor lets the smartphone know about when you are in between a call and when to turn off the screen. It avoids accidental bumping or touching on the touchscreen. This sensor uses an infrared beam of light. It is first emitted, and then it gets reflected back by an object which is then detected by the IR detector.
Ambient or Light Sensor
Another type of sensor which is also placed near the earpiece is the smartphone’s light sensor. It is the Light Sensor which measures the amount of ambient light. The information gathered by the ambient sensor is used by the device to adjust its brightness. It is adjusted automatically. The more the ambient, the more bright the screen will become. The dimer the ambient light, the dimer your screen becomes. An interesting fact is that some of the premium phones like Samsung Galaxy series have an advanced proximity sensor. It not only can detect the amount of ambient light but can also detect the color of the ambient light produced. This info is used to refine the image or refine the color of the image that to be shown on the touchscreen.
Next up we have the Barometer Sensor. It’s a built-in sensor in some high-end smartphones which use this sensor to measure atmospheric pressure. Data measured by this sensor is used to determine how high the device is above sea level. It, in turn, results in improved GPS accuracy. On a related note, the Motorola XOOM and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus were among the first Android devices to feature this sensor.
Some of the folks out there remember the revolutionary smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4. It had a Thermometer (sensor) which was used to measure the temperature of the ambient light. However, most of the smartphones usually have a Thermometer sensor present inside them. The only difference is that they are used to measure the temperature inside the device to prevent overheating. If a device overheats, this sensor helps in preventing damage by letting the CPU know and by shutting down the smartphone. Speaking of the Galaxy S4, it pioneered the use of an air humidity sensor in a smartphone. Data provided by it was used in the S Health application to tell whether or not the user was in their “Comfort Zone.”
So concerning and coming to health topic, there is another type of sensor known as the Pedometer sensor. It is used to count the number of steps that the user has taken. It helps a lot in maintaining a user’s fitness. Usually, this duty of counting steps is maintained by the Accelerometer sensor, but the pedometer is far more accurate at this task.
Heart Rate Sensor
Next up we have got the Heart rate sensor or the heart rate monitor.
As you can tell, it is made to measure one’s pulse. Therefore, it does that by detecting the minute pulsations of the blood vessels inside one’s finger.
Another type of sensor is a Fingerprint sensor. It helps in protecting one’s data and privacy. This sensor locks your phone using your fingerprint. It provides world-class security. Without you fingerprint, no one can unlock your phone.There is a particularly dedicated space for this sensor which is mostly on the back, near the rear camera or on the front, on the bottom. There is an assigned space for this sensor which is mostly on the back, near the rear camera or on the front or the bottom.
A unique sensor which is so remarkable that even I was amazed to know about it is a radiation sensor. In this radiated world, radiation is a big issue in some places.
A sensor that you would not expect to find on a smartphone is one capable of detecting harmful radiation. There’s a phone that supports one – the Sharp Pantone 5. It is Released only in Japan. It features a dedicated button which launches an app used to measure the current radiation level in the area.
So adding up all these sensors (the camera and microphone also), which results in around 14 sensors. There is no perfect smartphone which has all of these sensors. Hence I can assure you that one day, every smartphone will have all of these sensors!
I hope you like this list of Different types of sensors used in Mobile Phones.
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