Microsoft details Windows 8 motion sensor support [Video]

Windows 8 - Sensor Fusion technology

Microsoft upcoming Windows 8 operating system will incorporate an improved support for motion sensors (software-based and on a new all-in-one chip that includes the sensors).

Windows 8 Beta (a.k.a Windows 8 Customer Preview) is due late February and the software giant still coming up with new improvements in the operating system — and we like it! –, this time they are showing off their improve support for motion sensors in a new article from the Building Windows 8 blog.

Essentially, Microsoft has developed a new process called “sensor fusion” that allows the use of multiple sensors (accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope) data input together, providing a better experience for developers to make use of the PC hardware to create motion-based Metro style apps, and for the end users to enjoy those applications and games with motion capabilities.

It turns out that an accelerometer, magnetometer, and a gyro can complement each-other’s weaknesses, effectively filling in gaps in data and data responsiveness. Using a combination of these sensors it is possible to create a better, more responsive, and more fluid experience than the sensors can provide individually. — Gavin Gear said, Program Manager on the Device Connectivity team for Windows.

This is not a new concept, in fact sensors can now be found in many PC laptops and mobile devices like the iPhone and Android. But the difference (or the magic) is that Microsoft’s “sensor fusion” has the ability to mathematically combine the sensors’ data more accurately and provide a more fluid response based on 9 distinct axes for games and applications with motion capabilities.

Microsoft new technology is a software-based algorithm that works across different sensors or it can also be done at the hardware level with a single chip that incorporates all the sensors. Microsoft has already been working with different manufactures to produce a chip for use in future devices. 

If you were one of the lucky ones getting your hands on one of the Samsung Windows 8 stale PC, the support is already there, for everyone else that would like to test Microsoft’s sensor fusion technology, there is a developer board that connects via USB to test the new sensor support and can be purchased here.

Here is a video demo from Microsoft using sensor fusion technology:

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.