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The contextual awakening: How sensors are making mobile truly brilliant
When Steve Jobs introduced the original iPhone in 2007 he spent some time talking about its sensors - the capacitive multitouch sensors in the screen that let you use your bioelectric finger as the best pointing device ever, the accelerometer that triggered it to rotate the interface when you rotated the phone, the ambient light sensor that adjusted brightness to fit the environment, the proximity sensor that turned off the screen and capacitance to save power and avoid accidental touch events when you held the phone up to your face. Over the course of the next year, Jobs also introduced Wi-Fi mapping and then GPS so the iPhone could chart location, and later still, a magnometer and gyroscope so it could understand direction, angle, and rotation around gravity. From the very beginning, the iPhone was aware.
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