Re: [DMCForum] Test email
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Re: [DMCForum] Test email

Ryan Wright wrote:
> On 7/2/07, Jon Heese <dmcforum@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  It sounds like you're saying it just keeps the last known orientation.
>>  If so, that's exactly why I think it's a flawed feature.  Good to
>>  impress co-workers, but of limited use if you tend to hold your cell
>>  phone flat when looking at it (as I do).
> I'll bet you don't.
> You may think you do, but that would be a very awkward position to
> view a small LCD screen. If you really hold your phone flat, you must
> also tilt your head at a 90 degree angle from your body to view the
> screen. I doubt you do this.

No, I really do.  I sit in a chair all day with my arms on the arms of 
the chair.  My hands end up right over my lap and when I look at my PDA 
I'm looking straight down with the screen parallel to the ground.  Try 
the position and you'll see that it's not awkward or unlikely at all.

I do the same with my PSP.  I think it's more common than you think.

> Go play with an iPhone. I'm sure you will find this "concern" isn't
> one at all. It will probably work intuitively and exactly as you
> expect.

I don't expect this to be a "problem" with the iPhone, it's just a 
primary flaw in the auto-orientation feature that would keep it from 
working intuitively and make it more of a gimmick than a useful feature 
to me.

>>  My idea of spinning it flat on a table was to get the accelerometers
>>  that are designed to "feel" gravity to go wacky and freak out the
>>  programming that determines which way gravity is pulling.  I suppose
>>  that spinning it like that would fire the sensors for both the x- and
>>  y-axes, and I suppose they would tell it to do nothing when that happens.
> It may not be an accelerometer, but rather a simple pendulum with a
> tiny weight on it. That would be the cheapest and least power intense
> way of doing it. Why power an accelerometer if you only have to detect
> which way is up?

Yeah, I sort of used the term "accelerometer" loosely.  I was imagining 
more like a tiny ball in a short tapered tube with sensors on either 
end.  A tiny pendulum would accomplish the same thing.  There were be 
two of these apparatuses, set on opposing axes to "feel" the force of 
gravity for orientation.

If you spun such a device on its back on a flat (i.e. earth parallel) 
surface, unless the pendulums/balls were located in the center of 
gravity of the unit, you should end up firing at least one of the 
sensors in at least one direction, registering as the force of gravity.

Jon Heese

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