March 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 5)
Strong Points: Clear user interface
Weak Points: Some glitches with data recording
Did you know that your iPad/iPhone includes a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer? If you answered “no” to that question, then you are also probably unaware of the Data Collection app, which provides a simple interface for users to play around with all three of those built-in sensors. The user interface lists all three sensors and shows in real-time the values for each (displayed in the x, y, and z directions). A reference diagram is shown to orient the user with respect to the axes. If you want to use the app as a more serious tool, you can hit the “record” button to collect data from the sensors. The resulting data can be emailed as a text file. The full version allows users to record data for as long as they’d like at a user-defined sampling frequency; a free version of the app restricts recording to 10 seconds at a fixed sampling frequency of 10 Hz.