New iPhone's Gyroscope Was Added for Gaming

When Gizmodo showed new iPhone's prototype most of us stopped expecting from Jobs anything shocking on WWDC 2010. But he amazed us, and not only with new display's resolution, FaceTime function and 802.11n support, but also with gyroscope. Many developers instantly realized - this is a new breakthrough.

While conventional accelerometer measures linear acceleration as a change of direction apart a change in velocity, a gyroscope measures angular acceleration, or in other words, a change in both direction and velocity at the same time. Thus the device can sense its rotation while ignoring hand jitters and linear movements, which is impossible for accelerometer.

With position tracking in six-axis, the device with gyroscope can precisely define how fast, far and in which direction it moved in space, which defines new horizons of abilities for users. In order to properly use all of gyroscope capabilities Apple developed special CoreMotion API so the devs won't need any deep knowledge of physics.


But adding gyroscope to new iPhone 4 is not only another innovative step for Apple - according to AppleInsider, it is also a way to become leader on new (for the company) market of handheld gaming devices and to keep going to the top  of the smartphone vendors list. To make such a conclusion the resource analyzed the situation with current Apple's competitors.

Google just can't immediately force all of its hardware partners to add gyroscope into its devices. Moreover, the company may not be interested in developing its own API for controlling the gyroscope since it won't significantly increase profit from ads (which is the main income item for Google).

Microsoft has already announced that the gyroscope support will not be included in its OS Microsoft Phone 7 which will be presented this fall. Nokia is not interested in adding this feature to its devices since its customer base so big that it won't be significantly affected by it. RIM and HP have many other problems to solve like improving design of its operational systems to compete with iOS 4 or tablet device support.

On the handheld devices market the situation is also pretty clear. Nintendo added gyroscope controller in its Wii console but it doesn't have any similar plans with Nintendo DS device. The same situation with PSP - Sony produced SIXAXIS controller and PlayStation Move for PlayStation 3 but the latter has been always positioning as a conventional button-oriented device so the idea did not become popular.

Meanwhile, by this autumn Apple will already have tens of millions of iOS 4 users that will become a good target for developers. Generally, it becomes obvious that in pursuit for innovations the Cupertino's company made another big step ahead and beat its competitors again.


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