Nov 11 AT 3:54 PM Taylor Wimberly 13 Comments

Gingerbread to feature Wii-like motion processing

True 1:1 motion processing is coming to Gingerbread (Android 2.3) thanks to InvenSense, the company behind the MEMS gyroscope sensor found in the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus controller.

In Gingerbread, Google is planning to add several new sensor fusion APIs including quaternion, rotation matrix, linear acceleration and gravity. It sounds confusing, but developers will finally be able to leverage the benfits of the gyroscope working together with the accelerometer and magnetometer.

The uses of sensor fusion technology are nearly endless but expect it to appear in all types of applications including user interface, augmented reality, gaming, image stabilization, and navigation.

For an idea of what to expect, check out the Google Tech Talk by David Sachs of InvenSense where he shows off several demos. The application examples start around the 3:30 mark.

What type of motion controls would you like to see in Android? I think the lock-screen demo was pretty awesome, but I bet you all can come up with some cooler ideas.

p.s. Yes, the Nexus S has one of these fancy gyros.

Via: YouTube

Source: InvenSense

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Rob Koehler

    I love that the demo at the 7 minute mark is on a G1

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah it looks like these guys have been working on sensor fusion on Android for years.

      • http://Website Alex

        So where did it say it was coming to gingerbread? Just curious, not being a smartass :-P, I probably overlooked it.

  • David Shellabarger

    More sensors to play with are great!
    This also sounds like the api’s will be a lot easier to use too.
    While the Proximity sensor is easy to use, the Accelerometer is quite a bit more tricky to program with.

  • ExtremeT

    Seriously things just keep getting better and better. There are definitely some cool new possibilities with this, too bad it didn’t come out before now.

  • David Shellabarger

    Actually Gyros have been supported in Android since 1.5:
    I don’t any hardware manufactures have been installing them, but support has been there.

    This sounds like it could be a much improved api though. Which would be awesome.

  • http://Website Matt

    This is fine for something like an Android phone linked to Google TV but you can’t really use this on the phone alone… how would you see the screen?

  • http://Website Bod1ggity

    Google is so Innovative. This is why I love android. It gets better and better, so much has happened in just a year. Crazy.

  • http://Website OldDog

    “Wii like”? Here we go again…now Nintendo is going to sue Google for patent infringement? I hope not, but I won’t be surprised.

  • http://Website Ace

    “will finally be able to leverage the benfits of the gyroscope” – Taylor, you mean, be able to USE the benefits of the gyroscope, right? Then why the hell you don’t use this simple world. Coz “leverage” sounds more cooool? Please use human words, OK?

  • vkelman

    No Android phones so far have a gyroscope, is it right? But as I see from above comments Galaxy Tab already got one.
    That was one area on which Android was behind iPhone 4.

  • http://Website Duncan

    Steve, it’s not just on the iPhone. Nova on Android also supports gyroscopic controls, so when I’m playing it on my Galaxy Tab I just point the phone in the direction I want to move or fire.

    I guess the new APIs must give some additional control otherwise I’m not clear exactly what’s new.

  • http://Website steve

    I just watched a youtube video of the galaxy tab and nova.

    Yes, the galaxy tab has gyroscope and its no different than the gyroscope on my ipod touch.