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Archived.pngArchived: This article is archived because it is not considered relevant for third-party developers creating commercial solutions today. If you think this article is still relevant, let us know by adding the template {{ReviewForRemovalFromArchive|user=~~~~|write your reason here}}.

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Created: kaaster (19 Oct 2007)
Last edited: hamishwillee (31 May 2013)

Warning.pngWarning: The information in this page is valid only for a limited set of Nokia S60 phones. The APIs described are not part of the S60 Platform therefore they are not available on phones created by other S60 licensee.

This article discusses the various sensor APIs available for Nokia devices.

Mobile sensor APIs (available in the Sensor plug-in for S60 SDK [1]) allow us to get the data from the embedded sensors.

That 3D accelerometer inside N95 , N93i or N82 is from STMicroelectronics (type LIS302DL). The European chip maker STMicroelectronics (STM)has also supplied the motion-control chip for the Nintendo Wii console's controller. This chip is built around a technology known as Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Essentially chips with tiny moving parts like gears.

More information about it can be found in the public spec from ST web site


Sensor Framework

S60 5th edition saw a introduction of new Sensor Framework which has new APIs that offer more versatility and extendability as well as new possibilities with sensor data formats and usage scenarios. This Framework has been backported to S60 3rd FP2 edition and also to E66 (S60 3rd FP1).

Sensor Framework Sensors can also be accessed via Platform Services in S60 5th Edition devices.


Sensor FW is not backwards compatible with Sensor API. Sensor API is not backwards compatible with R&D Plugin. Therefore you have to be careful to select correct sensor interface depending on your target hardware.

Sensor FW for S60 5th Ed and 3rd FP2 (and E66 3rd Ed FP1).

Sensor API for S60 3rd Ed and 3rd Ed FP1.

N95 with firmware < 20.0.015

  • It allows us to get notification about the phone tilt for example whether the phone is tilted 0,90,180,270 degrees.
  • The UID of the sensor is 0x303E. This UID can be used to get the call back notifications about the movement. The following link, sensor example, has the example for 5500 sensor.The UID of the 5500 sensor is 0x10273024. Simply changing in the file SensorTestAppui.cpp the 5500 UID to the N95 one allows us to get the call backs for N95.

>Note that with N95 you can only get one sensor and it gives only 4 different values (0/90/180/270), whereas with 5500 you get lot more information as well as there is tap sensor included with 5500.

  • Until you can upgrade your firmware to V 20.0.015, you can also use the N95 RD Accelerometer plug-in described in Nokia Research Center's activity monitor project. This allows for a higher amount of detail to be received from the N95 accelerometer. The MovingBall example on that page also gives a good indication of what is possible with the N95 accelerometer. Please note that this R&D API is not binary compatible with the Sensor API offered by the S60 Platform.

N95 with firmware >= 20.0.015

SensorAPI example used 'out-of the-box' give you the values on the 3 axis not limited to 4 values.

Note.pngNote: Note however the SensorAPI example used with N95 V 20.0.015 (13/11/07) and the UID 0x303E still give only one axis with 4 values.

Device coverage

  • Here's a panel for matching sensor API and R&D Plugin and device supporting it.
Device Platform Sensor API R&D Plugin Sensor FW Platform Services
N95 firmware < 20.0.015 3rd Ed FP1 Tilt only v
N95 firmware >= 20.0.015 [0x303E] 3rd Ed FP1 Tilt only v
N95 firmware >= 20.0.015 [0x10273024] 3rd Ed FP1 v v
N95 8GB 3rd Ed FP1 v v
N93i firmware < 20.0.084 3rd Ed  ? v
N93i firmware >= 20.0.084 3rd Ed v v
N82 3rd Ed FP1 v v
6210 Navigator 3rd Ed FP2 acc+ magnetometer.
N79 3rd Ed FP2  ?
N85 3rd Ed FP2 acc.
N96 3rd Ed FP2  ?
E66 3rd Ed FP1 acc.
5800 ExpressMusic 5th Ed acc. acc.
N97 5th Ed acc. acc.
5500 3rd Ed v


Several developers have announced applications that make use of 5500 , N95,N93i or N82's sensors using either the Sensor API (previouly used with only 5500) or the middleware released by the Nokia Research Center (NRC). Here are the ones known at this time:

Application Author Download link Video demo Supported API
Activity Monitor NRC Download
MovingBall NRC Download View Plugin
Inclinometer symbianyucca Download View Sensor
Lightsabre Graham Oldfield Download View Plugin or Sensor
Wattery screensaver Psiloc Download
Groove Labyrinth Bitside Download
Accelerinvaders lpvalente View Sensor
Tunnel Run Mobile Radicals Not released. View Sensor
gBoarder FH Hagenberg
Stefan Damm and Benjamin Gmeiner
Download View Sensor
CarMeter FH Hagenberg
Alexander Erifiu, Grammer Mario and Martin Legath
ShakerRacer FH Hagenberg
Andreas Jakl, Stephan Selinger
Download View Sensor or plugin
pyWuzzler FH Hagenberg
Benjamin Gmeiner, Yen-Chia Lin
Download View Sensor
xyz2NXT : control a LEGO NXT robot car with your phone. Goodan Download View Plugin with Python wrapper
MovingBall in JAVA BjoernQ Download
Plugin with Python socket server
BallGame in JAVA BjoernQ Download View Plugin with Python socket server
emTube Sebastian Jedruszkiewicz Download
Sensor or Plugin
Nokia Headlines Nokia beta labs
Sensor or plugin
FLVPlayer OPDA Download Sensor or plugin
Glogger VS2 Glogger Download Plugin
FlipSilent Tong Reng Download View Plugin
pyPiwo Ariek Download Sensor
pyRybka Ariek Download View Sensor
NiiMe : Mouse Control with N95 A2JSoft (Alcyone) Download View Plugin
MIRAGE-X : 3-D motion control for the N95 MobileRadicals - View Sensor or plugin
PyAcceleREMOTER Serk01 Download View Sensor
Phone Fight labs Unavailable View Plugin with Python wrapper
16 Puzzle Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
Sensor Analyzer Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
Rol-a-Bol Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
MirageMoney2 MobileRadicals Download View(old version demo) Sensor or plugin
Paparazzi Attack Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
AlertMe Ahmet YILDIRIM Download View Sensor
Unity Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
nGun Ahmet YILDIRIM Download View Sensor
Mazing Days Jouni Miettunen Download Sensor
Creepy Invaders Hannu Viitala Download Sensor
Shake Me Pankaj Nathani Download View Sensor
Mocap Tea Vui Huang Download View Sensor
This page was last modified on 31 May 2013, at 01:05.
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