How does a Gyroscope sensor work in your smartphone?

How Does a Gyroscope Sensor Work in Your Smartphone?

Published datePublished: Aug 22, 2019 ViewsViews: 1153
Mukul Mayank

Mukul Mayank

Mukul boasts a proven track record in delivering innovative solutions within budget and on time, meeting clients' objectives while opening new business opportunities. In his role as COO at TechAhead, Mukul's visionary leadership is the driving force behind the company's success in the ever-evolving tech industry.
How Does a Gyroscope Sensor Work in Your Smartphone?

Have you ever wondered how your mobile device comprehends which direction is up? Or why drones don't tumble out of the sky? It's all thanks to an ingenious device called a directional gyroscope sensor.

The invisible workhorse in countless gadgets, these sensors measure angular velocity and orientation, keeping our digital world on track. They're behind the magic of immersive gaming experiences and have even found their way into cutting-edge robotics.

Gyroscope sensors are extremely popular nowadays due to their precision, versatility, and low power requirements. This piece will dive deep into this fascinating tech - its origins, types, and benefits - revealing exactly why it's becoming indispensable in modern applications.

If you've ever been curious about what keeps our digital lives spinning smoothly or if you love understanding new technology trends – keep reading!

What are Gyroscope Sensors?

Gyroscope sensors, or gyro sensors as they’re often called, measure angular velocity. That’s a fancy way of saying they keep track of changes in rotational angle over time. Just like a spinning top stays upright while it spins, these little wonders help devices know which way is up.

Their job is to sense movement and orientation in three-dimensional space – think forward and backward, left and right, up and down. This multi-directional awareness makes them invaluable for all sorts of tech applications.

This resource guide provides more insights into how gyros work, but to put it simply, when you tilt your phone from portrait mode to landscape…that’s the gyroscope sensor doing its thing.

When Were Gyroscope Sensors Invented: A Brief History

The journey of gyroscope sensors started in the 19th century. It was French scientist Leon Foucault who first invented this ingenious device back in 1852. His invention aimed to measure Earth’s rotation axis, which it did with surprising accuracy.

Following the invention of mechanical gyroscopes by Leon Foucault in 1852, gyroscopes were not widely used until WWII, when they became essential for navigation and control systems within aircraft. This marked a significant technological leap that allowed pilots to fly accurately even during nighttime or poor weather conditions.

These devices have become ubiquitous in recent years due to advancements in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Today’s gyroscopic sensors, small enough to fit inside your smartphone or gaming console controller, can provide accurate motion tracking for applications such as robotics and virtual reality headsets.

The Different Types Of Gyroscope (Angular Velocity) Sensors

Gyroscope sensors are essential in today’s tech world. They sense angular velocity, or how quickly an object changes its rotational angle over time. The gyroscope design features a spin axis defined by the axle of the spinning wheel.

Rotary (Classical) Gyroscope Sensor

The first type is the Rotary (classical) gyroscope. It operates a high-speed rotation axis on principles of conservation of angular momentum, making it ideal for maintaining orientation and stability in applications like aviation and marine systems.

Vibrating Gyroscopes (Ring Laser Gyroscope)

Vibrating Structure Gyroscopes make use of a vibrating element to measure rotation rate. These are also known as Coriolis Vibratory Gyroscope (CVG) units and are often found in consumer electronics because they’re compact and affordable yet still offer high performance – perfect for smartphones.

Optical Gyroscopes (Fiber Optic Gyroscope)

Finally, Optical Gyroscopes work with light waves rather than mechanical motion to detect changes in direction. Many refer to these as fiber optic gyroscope units due to the fiber optic element within the device, allowing maximum precision. Their precision makes them useful where accuracy is paramount, such as spacecraft navigation or missile guidance systems.

Benefits of Using Gyroscope Sensors

Gyroscope sensors offer many advantages, especially in today’s tech-driven world. They’re known for their precise measurements of angular velocity and orientation.

This accuracy allows gyroscopes to play crucial roles in various fields. For instance, they give robotic systems the precision needed to operate efficiently. Gyroscopes guarantee smooth sailing from one place to another, no matter the circumstances.

In motion tracking applications, gyros prove indispensable, too. Because they can track even minute changes in movement or direction accurately, our gaming consoles respond flawlessly to every twist and turn we make.

Their benefits extend beyond just enhancing user experience, though. Gyroscopes are also energy efficient with their spinning wheel – an essential trait considering how much we rely on battery-powered gadgets nowadays.

Popular Applications of Gyroscope Sensors

Gyroscope sensors have found their way into our daily lives, helping to power some of the most innovative tech. For instance, NASA uses gyroscopes in its spacecraft for precise navigation.

But it’s not just space travel that benefits from these sensors. They’re integral parts of virtual reality headsets, too. With them, your movement in the real world translates into an immersive experience within a digital one.

The gaming industry also relies on gyroscope technology for responsive controls in consoles like Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 5. As you tilt or rotate your controller, the game reacts accordingly – all thanks to gyroscopic inputs.

In drones and robotics, gyros help maintain balance and stability during flight or movement, while smartphones use them to determine orientation – think auto-rotate when you flip your phone sideways. Remember, this is only a glimpse; countless other applications are out there harnessing the precision of gyroscope sensors.

Applications of Gyroscope in Smartphones

Below, we list some main applications for the gyroscope sensor and industries where mechanical gyroscope devices are standard. The gyroscopic motion is present in all of the following:

Motion-sensing GUI

The gyroscope in a smartphone provides a GUI that enables a user to select menus, etc., by tilting the phone. One can deflect the phone slightly to go up and down the contact list. It allows a smartphone to trigger preset commands basis different motions. For instance, one can shake the phone to lock it.

Answer phone/open website

A Gyro sensor in your phone allows you to answer or open a website by presenting commands such as rotating, gently shaking the phone 2 to 3 times, etc.

Image stabilization

Image stabilization is one of the applications of a Gyroscope in your smartphone, and it prevents the hand’s trembling from affecting the image’s quality. It enables the phone to record the actions while pressing the shutter to help catch clearer photos. It eliminates the effect of vibrations on both photos and videos.

GPS-inertial navigation

In case of a lost service or network, in tunnels or underground roads, the GPS continues to help navigate the car with the help of a Gyroscope.

Motion-sensing control game

With its iPhone 4 launch, Apple made Gyroscope the core of motion gaming. It enables the developer to control the game via the detection of action. It enables you to use your phone as a steering wheel while driving a car in a game, a jet, etc. The game replicates the moments you do with your phone and controls games with a motion sense.

Implementations of Gyroscope Sensor in a Mobile App

As discussed earlier, a Gyroscope Sensor can enable several actions based on a user’s motions, such as shaking the phone to undo written content. The gyroscope sensor is responsible for the autorotation of the screen and view on the screen whenever a phone is rotated.

One of the most significant implementations of a Gyroscope is that it enables smooth rotations and execution of multiple game commands by 3D motions. Due to their sensing motion, these devices can provide precision motion inside the App functionality. This allows the user to execute most tasks with the device’s rotational axis motion.

Every gyroscope features 6-dimensional angular motion senses. This means the mobile apps developed using a Gyroscope sensor are much more likely to provide an alluring user experience than the ones without the sensor.

Applications in a smartphone with a Gyroscope Sensor

Most applications in a smartphone today work best when there is a Gyroscope sensor in the phone. For instance, the recently popular Pokemon Go game showed how Augmented Reality adds to the gaming experience. However, what’s interesting is the fact that AR wouldn’t be possible without the angular velocity sensors found in today’s gyroscopes and smartphones. If your phone doesn’t have a good Gyro Sensor, the same can be enabled using the GyroEmu Xposed module on any Android phone.

Android Apps that make the best use of a Gyro Sensor

The following are Android apps that make use of a gyroscope sensor:

  • AndroSensor
  • Wifi Analyzer
  • Metal Sniffer
  • Clinometer
  • LightMeter Free
  • Smart Thermometer
  • Sound Meter
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Physics Toolbox Sensor Suite

iPhone Apps that make the best use of a Gyro Sensor

Below are some iPhone apps that feature a gyroscope sensor:

  • iBeer
  • Sleep Time
  • Sky Views

As we can see, more and more apps are coming daily using actual Gyroscope sensors creatively. However, much innovation is being done in the space of Augmented Ready with Gyroscope in smartphones. We are excited to see what comes up!

Best Smartphones with a Gyroscope Sensor

With the three-ring laser Gyroscope sensor being an inevitable part of every smartphone today, the following are some of the best smartphones you can get with a Gyroscope sensor.

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • Samsung Galaxy 8
  • LG V20
  • Sony Experia XZ
  • Google Pixel
  • OnePlus 5T
  • Huawei Honor 8
  • Moto G4

There you go – some of the best devices with gyroscope sensors nowadays. Let’s explore the most frequently asked questions about laser and mechanical gyroscope devices. You’ll get answers on the gyroscopic rotor, mechanical gyroscope, and more.


What are gyroscopes used for today?

Gyroscopes power applications like drones, smartphones, gaming consoles, and VR headsets by measuring orientation and angular velocity.

Are gyroscopes still used?

Absolutely. Due to their precision and reliability, Gyro sensors remain vital in tech, ranging from navigation systems to robotics.

Do modern phones have gyroscopes?

Yes. Most contemporary smartphones sport gyroscope sensors for accurate motion tracking, improving the user experience significantly.

What is the new technology in gyroscope?

Newer technologies involve MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) gyroscopes that provide higher sensitivity at lower costs, ideal for consumer electronics.


Gyroscope sensors are the unsung heroes of our tech-savvy world.

These handy devices keep your smartphone right side up and drones steady in flight. They measure angular velocity with impressive accuracy – no wonder they’re a staple in modern robotics and navigation systems.

Their variety is also worth noting. From Rotary to Vibrating Structure Gyroscopes, all the way to Optical ones – each type offers unique benefits for specific applications.

Gaming consoles, virtual reality headsets, smartphones… you name it! Their versatility makes them an ideal choice across industries. And because of their low power requirements? That’s just the cherry on top!


In this digital age where accurate motion tracking is paramount – there’s little doubt these gems will continue spinning us into exciting new technological territories!

Gyroscope can be understood as a device to maintain a reference direction or provide stability in navigation, stabilizers, etc. Similarly, a gyroscope or a Gyro sensor is present in your smartphone to sense angular rotational velocity and acceleration.

Simply put, all those mobile games we can play using motion sense in our phones, tablets, etc., are due to a Gyroscope Sense. Similarly, it is required in a smartphone to watch 360-degree videos or photos—the photo or the video moves when we move our phone due to the presence of a Gyroscope.

Contact TechAhead today for all your web and mobile app development.

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