Pedometer - Technology

Technology

The technology for a pedometer includes a mechanical sensor and software to count steps. Early forms used a mechanical switch to detect steps together with a simple counter. If one shakes these devices, one hears a lead ball sliding back and forth, or a pendulum striking stops as it swings. Today advanced step counters rely on MEMS inertial sensors and sophisticated software to detect steps. These MEMS sensors have either 1-, 2- or 3-axis detection of acceleration. The use of MEMS inertial sensors permits more accurate detection of steps and fewer false positives. The software technology used to interpret the output of the inertial sensor and "make sense of accurate steps" varies widely. The problem is compounded by the fact that in modern day-to-day life, such step-counters are expected to count accurately on locations where users frequently carry their devices (attached to the belt, shirt/pants pocket, hand bag, backpack).

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