Apple has announced that their upcoming iPhone 4 will include a built-in gyroscope. This will be a welcome addition for gaming and other 3D apps. Most industry insiders thought gyroscopes wouldn’t hit the mass market in hand-held devices and phones for at least another 2 years. Microsoft has already admitted they won’t be ready to support gyroscopes in their upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform by its launch at the end of the year
While the original iPhone included an accelerometer, the addition of a gyroscope will allow the device to measure angular acceleration, which is a change in both velocity and direction at the same time. In the iPhone 4, the gyroscope will enable the device to sense a slight degree of rotation while rejecting linear movements and hand jitters, while its accelerometer senses those linear movements. The gyroscope will allow 3-axis gyro, pitch, roll and yaw, rotation about gravity, 6-axis motion sensing and will support new CoreMotion APIs.
Game developers were pleased with this announcement, as the iPhone has really taken off in the last year in the lucrative gaming segment. Future gaming titles that could take advantage of the new gyroscope include sports games, racing games and 3D games that into account elevation/pitch changes. Steve Jobs himself demoed a version of Jenga that took full advantage of the gyroscope.