...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.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.