Asahi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for Next-Gen iPhone?

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AppleInsider claims that Japanese manufacturer Asahi Kasei will be providing the magnetometer (digital compass) for the upcoming next-generation iPhone. This is based on header files found in the latest iPhone 3.0 beta.
People familiar with betas of the iPhone 3.0 software developers kit recently dug up several header files attributed to the Japanese manufacturer in a directory appropriately labeled "compass." More specifically, the files identify Asahi Kasei's azimuth sensor No. AK8973, a 16-pin leadless IC package measuring 4mm square and 0.7mm thick, as the chip that will help future iPhone users determine their direction. It bundles a master clock oscillator.
Magnetometers have become more prevalent in handheld devices and one was used in a demo of Google's Map application for the Android that allows users to physically move the device around to change the street view.

Article Link: Ashhi Kasei to Supply Magnetometer for Next-Gen iPhone?
 

InTheUnion

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2009
153
0
Oh. Cool.. :)

I've never really seen a reason to get too excited about compasses though
 

StuPidQPid

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2006
53
22
Tucson, AZ
Cool, a magentometer. Something that can detect different shades of purple?
Just what I want in an iPhone. I'll definitely get one now ;)
 

tiguk

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2008
311
5
UK
Cool, a magentometer. Something that can detect different shades of purple?
Just what I want in an iPhone. I'll definitely get one now ;)
Well spotted!

It would certainly differentiate the iPhone from the rest.... no other phone could do it!!
 

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,439
268
Home
Definitely cool when inc ombination with knowing a location. But also useful for gaming, in coordination with the current sensors.
 

kk1ro

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2008
171
123
Is this one better than the magnetometer on the T-Mobile G1? I mean, will it add any functionality or will it do just the same?
I ask this because, currently, I own a G1 and an iPod Touch 2G. Although I love both of them to death, I was thinking about selling them and buying the 2009 iPhone.
But it really has to beat the pants off of Android (and its features) to get me to buy it.
 

Andrew K.

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2008
1,432
1
I think Apple likes to bring out these functions that have been around a while and present them as a cool new feature... on purpose. Really I think they wanna see how far they can push it with Apple Haters to get them to say

"ZOMG My Fu***ing Nokia T-mac 9 whatever had that feature since 1993!!!"


Apple's marketing is genius, simple, but genius. :D
 

Eriamjh1138@DAN

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2007
634
459
BFE, MI
A compass will allow all 6-axis phone controls for games. Iphone can detect tilt, but not twist. A MAGNETometer will allow that.

Think flying game.
 

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,627
291
I think Apple likes to bring out these functions that have been around a while and present them as a cool new feature... on purpose. Really I think they wanna see how far they can push it with Apple Haters to get them to say

"ZOMG My Fu***ing Nokia T-mac 9 whatever had that feature since 1993!!!"


Apple's marketing is genius, simple, but genius. :D
Well, as you can see in this very thread, they are doing an excellent job. Anyways, great...a compass, now bring on the extra RAM. Since I'm not upgrading, what am I ever going to do! I guess I'll have to keep using moss on trees and the stars.
 

retroneo

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2005
720
92
A compass will allow all 6-axis phone controls for games. Iphone can detect tilt, but not twist. A MAGNETometer will allow that.
Except that this module is 3-axis, and the Google G1's is 6-axis.

Asahi Kasei AKM8976A is in the G1.
AK8973 is in the new iPhone.

http://edageek.com/2007/03/14/akm-ak8973s-compass/

I see the difference... The G1's module includes an integrated accelerometer.
Was wondering what 6 dimensions would look like....
 

neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,755
255
SF Bay area
Not sure how helpful this will be for games. I looked up the data sheet and it seems you can only read it at about 80 samples per second at best. Given a little overhead and the fact that you need to sample three axes and do other stuff at the same time, I'd guess the iPhone could read 10 or 15 triplets per second.

It really is world beating technology. It uses a silicon based Hall effect device.

The sensitivity seems great, about 1/100 of the earths magnetic field. Could make for some fun high school science projects. Opens up the possibility of cute kid's games; hunt for the hidden magnet. Possibly could be fun for geologists and geophysicists on vacation. Annoy your spouse and offspring with nerdy fun facts about the local terrain.
 

jamesarm97

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2006
1,063
65
Seriously, a ****ing compass? Come on Apple.
:rolleyes:
Try using an app like Geocaching where you are trying to find something using the GPS and stand in one spot and turn to see what direction you should go. You have to walk in a straight line and wait for the heading to get figured out, then see which direction you should be going, then turn that way and repeat over and over.
 

Lepton

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2002
839
277
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
Here's the problem with current and past iPhones. The accelerometer will detect roll and pitch, but not yaw. Ya gotta have yaw! Especially for things like turn by turn navigation.

Stand with the phone level in front of you, screen up. Raise the front and the phone can detect tha change in pitch. Or, raise the left side and the phone can detect the change in roll. But leep it level to the ground and make a left or right face move, and the phone can not detect it. Why not? Because the accelerometer senses the direction of gravity, and changes in yaw do not affect that.
 

Jetson

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2003
580
38
Including a compass, GPS, digital camera and scads of Apps is all well and good.

Why doesn't the iPhone/iPod have a radio?

In an emergency I would like my all-in-one handheld device to be able to pick up radio stations which are sometimes the only source of news.

The Zune has a radio. It can't be that difficult.
 

zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
Oh. Cool.. :)

I've never really seen a reason to get too excited about compasses though
Seriously, a ****ing compass? Come on Apple.
:rolleyes:

Magnetometer + GPS + Accelerometer + Software = Augmented Reality

  • A 3-axis compass will accurately sense which direction is north no mater what orientation or tilt the phone is in, unlike a real compass which must be held flat to properly display north.

  • The accelerometer also assists in detecting the position of the phone.

  • GPS, of course, gives you the location of your phone on the earth.

These three things make the iPhone nearly self aware of the direction it's facing, the way it's tilted, and it's coordinates.

Using the camera and display as a viewer, software can augment virtual images on a display in real-time in relation to real world coordinates. Virtual reality through a window. Augmented reality.
 

jmooring

macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2006
11
0
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

I thought FM was on the rumored list of new functionality as well...
 
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