Windows 8 Ultrabooks Take Note Smartphones With Gyroscopes

Gyroscope and motions sensors are associated with smartphone and tablets, allowing device rotation to control software. The technology will be coming to ultrabooks, Intel has announced, running Windows 8.

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Rotating your laptop when playing video games has been completely unncessary, unless you’re Intel

Microsoft wants a variety of devices when Windows 8 launches October 26, 2012, including the laptop-tablet hybrid known as ultrabooks. Intel has announced it will be bringing Windows 8 ultrabooks, and the device will include motion sensors.

A compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, and ambient light sensor. The sensors are required for laptops to be categorised as ultrabooks, and for for a tablet to also enter the category. Using a device for motion tracking isn’t something users desire, I think. Whether ultrabooks can carve out a market, between the laptop and tablet, is uncertain.

Apparently the compass is optional for ultrabooks. It shows the direction a laptop is facing, which could be interesting with mapping service integration. The GPS feeds into this by displaying the user’s location.

The accelerometer protects the hard drive from sudden movements, technology used in MacBooks (the clunk sound users here is the hard drive being protected, despite it sounding otherwise). The accelerometer can also provide users with travel time by calculated movement. Again, though, why would someone carry a laptop when walking over a smartphone or tablet?

Motion Sensing?

Like in the mobile devices, the gyroscope detects motion and the rate of rotation. The ambient light sensor detects light to adjust the screen’s brightness, and leads to higher battery efficiency. Unless you control the brightness (and nearly blind yourself in the morning with a completely-bright screen).

It’ll be interesting to see how developers build apps for the technology. Will we see games using the gyroscope and mapping service using the GPS, but will developers just port the apps over? The gyroscope doesn’t sound useful for ultrabooks, because of the plus 10-inch size.

We’re also going to have four device categories: the desktop PC, the laptop, the ultrabook, the tablet, and finally the smartphone. It means there’s some conflict between the laptops, ultrabook, and tablet because all of the devices are portable. We’re seeing with Surface for Windows 8 Microsoft is trying to build productivity devices, so why would someone buy a laptop or ultrabook instead?