In today’s world of rapidly evolving mobile technologies, sensors are playing a key role in mobile app design and development. Present-day devices have mobile sensors embedded within their hardware and provide an inspiration to app developers for creating innovative mobile apps. Mobile sensors have certain special features that enable mobile devices to detect motion, touch, light and a user’s environmental conditions. Today’s mobile app developers are keen to exploit the features mobile sensors offer.

Mobile Sensors – Looking Beyond

Industry experts predict that the next wave of innovation in mobility will revolve around the development of mobile sensors. During the initial stages of smartphone development, there were limited mobile sensors on a mobile device, which included RFID scanners, Barcode scanners, Bluetooth add-ons etc. However, with the rapid evolution of the smartphone, there has been a steady increase in the number of mobile sensors that are embedded in today’s mobile devices. Furthermore, the emergence of Internet of Things has led to introduction of different types of mobile sensors for connectivity, data collection etc.

Popular Sensors

The most popular mobile sensors in a present day mobile device are a gyroscope, accelerometer, optical sensor, camera, touch sensor and a compass, this apart from the traditional sensors such as microphone, radio, etc., which are a must for certain basic functionalities. As per Tristan Joo of WCA by the end of 2015, over 50% of mobile devices are likely to embed the above mentioned components.
Let us take a look at how the present day mobile devices and apps are interacting with the physical world around us. The mobile sensors present in a parking area alert individuals about a vacant parking slot. Modern day buildings are embedded with structural sensors that monitor the security, energy consumed and vibration levels, this helps engineers monitor and assess any threats on the go. We are also witnessing automobiles sending their current location and status to other mobile devices by using wireless technology. Additionally, traffic sensors along the way are increasingly helping drivers by detecting and suggesting the least congested routes and suggesting alternate routes. Weather sensors are offering weather report of current location by syncing with the sensors in your mobile.
Mobile Application Sensors

Examples of Sensor-based Mobile Apps

AirTouch is a unique mobile app, which allows its users to interact with their smartphone using their breath. To answer an incoming call, a user simply has to blow air on their smartphone, the humidity and temperature will trigger an inbuilt mobile sensor to answer the call. Users can also take snaps using their smartphones, all they got to do is frame the photo and then simply blow on their devices, which enables the sensor to click their picture. This innovative app has received an encouraging and enthusiastic response from consumers across the world.
Apart from this, gesture-based apps are adding to the growth of innovative mobile apps. Hover browsing is an innovative feature that makes a device respond to a user’s finger or hand gesture without an actual physical contact with the device. This feature has already been rolled out to consumers and top global brands such as Sony Xperia and Samsung who have incorporated these features on few of their premium devices. In future, this could be a standard offering across all devices manufactured by different vendors.


Your mobile device is no longer solely for the purpose of communication or simply to act as a digital assistant. It has evolved as a new medium that connects the physical world to the digital world. These new developments in mobile sensors technology has led to exciting new possibilities and opportunities for mobile app developers and device manufacturers.

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