This little motion sensor went to the market...

...and this little motion sensor went Wii, Wii, Wii, all the way phone. That's right, tiny sensors known as accelerometers (the same technology that's used in the Nintendo Wii) are making their way into mobile handsets. Check out the news story: "Motion-sensing comes to mobile phones."

According to the article, "When the [accelerometer] technology is added to a cell phone, the handset's utility changes in several intriguing ways. It can, for example, function as a motion-sensing mouse that lets you browse the mobile Internet by tilting the device left, right, up or down. It even can allow you to monitor a fitness workout by measuring the number of steps you take, your speed and the calories burned."

One of the coolest things I read about accelerometers melding with cell phones is the ability to dial phone numbers in the air, without voice activation or pressing buttons on the phone. "They [accelerometers] can also be used to help people operate their phones without using a keypad. The Samsung SCH-S310, introduced in Asia in 2005, uses a three-axis accelerometer that allows a user to dial the phone by 'writing' numbers in the air." Sure, you might look a little "special," but the cool factor certainly outweighs any public humiliation or embarrassment.  

Are you as intrigued as I am? If you live in the U.S., you'll have to wait a Wii bit longer, because Apple's iPhone will be one of the first phones in the U.S. to use the accelerometer technology, and the iPhone isn't set to debut until June on AT&T's wireless network.

Below is a photo of the Samsung SCH-S310, which lets users "write" numbers in the air that the phone can then dial. Click here to view the entire photo gallery.

Samsung SCH-S310


Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.


How about if they program the sensors so as they can detect when a car is moving and there is no use of hands free device. That would solve the problem of people loosing control of their vehicles because they were on the phone!


That would kind of suck for passengers, however. We wouldn't be able to use the phone at all FOR the driver, unless we had a hands free. But then again, I use hands free with my phone 90% of the time, even when just walking around, but thats just me }:}


what a completely useless ability THAT is! Like most jokes - it's interesting - once. Imagine, God forbid, they actually approve the use of cellphones on planes. Now we have not only irritating voices all the way to LA but juveniles (young and old) trying to impress us with their shiny new motion sensitive phones. When they figure out how to make it control traffic - call me.