Does the iPad’s accelerometer work in Zero Gravity?

Kind of…

While these Swiss “Astronauts” appear to think it does not work, the iPad clearly DOES change rotation about 39 seconds in. Still, I think I’ll probably postpone my $35 million trip to the International Space Station until Apple gets its priorities straight and starts devoting more resources towards getting its devices zero-G certified.

Thanks to faithful Macenstein reader Lucas for the tip!

Comments
10 Responses to “Does the iPad’s accelerometer work in Zero Gravity?”
  1. A Sullivan says:

    They could have just asked an electrical engineer :P

  2. If you notice it only starts rotating again as the guy holding it is starting to drop back to the floor, so the zero-g part of the flight is over.

    i guess this is the real reason they put the gyroscope in the iPhone 4!

  3. Bad News: Free falling towards earth surrounded by a giant plane is not 0-G.

  4. A Sullivan says:

    “Bad News: Free falling towards earth surrounded by a giant plane is not 0-G.”
    It is if it’s fast enough to offset the effect of gravity (I.E. 9.8m/s)

  5. M4tt says:

    i think when you saw it rotate when he was up in the air he hit it on his leg . but it’s hard to tell.

  6. Jonro says:

    I think the next gen gyroscope-equipped iPads will rotate in zero G. If there’s a real demand for it, Apple could probably come up with a software solution in the interim.

  7. bc says:

    Bad News Robot is 100% right – a flight on the vomit comet is NOT zero-g !

    and while you’re “floating”, you’re still accelerating, likely in several directions you don’t think you are (you and the plane are traveling in a parabolic arc!).

    so it’s easy to see why the iPad’s accelerometers might not be reacting the way you think they should if you were “floating” in mid air.

  8. Church says:

    Frame of reference, would-be pedants.

    Just as obviously, the new iPhone’s gyroscope demonstrates that Apple is serious about not limiting their market to the planet Earth. I expect a low temperature methane-resistant version to ship to Titan soonish.

  9. Joe (the original) says:

    This video is extremely annoying and pointless. Bring one to the ISS and then i’ll be impressed. Thank god there are so many intelligent Macenstein readers! (no offense doc)

  10. Larry says:

    He never held it still once he rotated it. He basically kept spinning in circles, with at best brief pauses. I know my iPhone needs a second or two to verify that you have indeed stopped moving and want to orient the iPhone in the new direction, and then it rotates the screen. I don’t think the accelerometer is based on gravity, but instead is based on motion and when the movement stops, which signals the screen to orient to that position. He never stopped moving.

    I think the best answer is that he never held the iPad still enough to tell it to rotate.

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