FAQ - Sensor Kinetics for Android

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between the free Sensor Kinetics app and the paid Sensor Kinetics Pro?

A: The Pro version allows you to save all the graphs that you capture into files, and to share these files to your computer by e-mail or via CSV files. When using the Multi-Sensor Recorder, the Pro version allows you to save and share the simultaneously recorded files. It also allows you to set High Pass or Low Pass filters for each sensor, as well as advanced settings. The Pro version does not include advertisements. Otherwise, the Pro has the same features of the free version.

Q: After recording a motion with my phone (i.e., measuring the gyroscope), I try to save the data file but it doesn't save. What am I doing wrong?

A: It's possible that you have not accepted the Permission to Write to the External Storage when you first installed the app. Try to add this permission using the App Setting of your phone, or you can re-install again and make sure that you say YES (or allow) to Write to External Storage.

Q: Is it possible to record the activity from two or more sensors at the same time? Can I share the recorded data?

A: Multi-Sensor Recorder is now included with the Android Sensor Kinetics app. You access the Multi-Sensor Recorder from the main screen (or via the menu), where you can select which sensors to record simultaneously. The Files and Sharing menu of the Multi-Sensor recorder allows you to group the data files under the same name, and save and share them efficiently with one button.

Q: Why is the data is not recorded when the screen is off? How can I record data for the long period required by my research project?

A: The Android OS tend to shut down the sensors when the device is in sleep mode to conserve the battery life. The sensors typically consume relatively large current to operate. You can turn off the sleep function in your device settings, and keep the device plugged into to your charger. We also recommend using the Multi-Sensor Recorder for longer recording, as you can better select the maximum data rate.

Q: Is it possible to record just one sensor in the Multi-Sensor Recorder? If so, what is the benefit of doing so compared to using the Sensor Chart Viewer directly?

A: Yes. You can use Multi-Sensor Recorder to select 1 to 6 sensors. The Multi-Sensor Recorder has the benefit of recording the data into a simple data base, so there is almost no delay. You can also set the recording rate at a desired maximum rate, thus avoiding to large files. When charting data in the Chart Viewer, you have less control on the timing and the data rate. There is also some delay due to the latency of the chart graphing data base.

Q: Is the Chart Viewer displaying the sensor's data raw data as it arrives from the hardware? Is there any processing done on the data before charting?

A: The Chart Viewer displays the raw data provided by the Android OS from your device sensors. However, using Settings, you may elect to convert this raw data in realtime to Rotation data or to Normalized data. You can also employ various Low-Pass and High-Pass filtering. Obviously, these settings require the app to perform DSP on the data.

Q: I just bought the Sensor Kinetics Pro app and I reached the files menu. How do I save the data?

A: To save files, you first need to run a Chart Viewer (or the Multi-Sensor Recorder) so there is a sensor data to save. Then, tap the Files & Sharing menu and tap the save Icon (looks like a diskette) on the top bar.

Q: I want to save the data that my phone has recorded. However I can't save anything. What can I do to fix this?

A: When installing your app (or when it starts for the first time) you need to allow external storage access. If you cannot adjust this from the device's main Settings, you can simply re-install the app.

Q: A CSV file I sent to my PC shows strange data:

0   0005;022984;9 67018;1 70467
0   02;023224;969293;170587

What can I do to fix this?

A: This may happen in Europe, where the decimal point is normally replaced by a comma. It seems that when you open the CSV file, your computer selects the wrong separator character (the ',' decimal marker instead of the ';'). Simply set up your CSV viewer (e.g. Excel) to select the ';' character as the separator character. Then your chart will correct to:
0,00050,22984 9,670181,70467

Note the use of ',' instead of '.' to match the country standard decimal notation.

Q: For Sensor Kinetics Pro, when and how are the csv files deleted after the email is sent? I am concerned that storage is not freed up!

A: Files created by the Sensor Kinetics Pro app are not deleted automatically. You, the user, have the full control when (and if) to delete the file. You can delete individual files by selecting them from the list of stored files and tapping Delete. The Storage Menu, which is accessible from the Files and Sharing menu of the Chart Viewers (and the Multi-Sensor Recorder) allows you to delete groups of files quickly. The Storage Menu also provides you with a clear summary of the number of the files and their total sizes.

Q: When you click "suspend" (from the menu) for all the sensors when using your Sensor Kinetics app, does that then make all the sensors on my phone inoperable (i.e. for other apps) until I click "resume"?  What if I close the app and I forget to click resume -- are all my sensors shut down and inoperable?

A: Sensor Kinetics DOES NOT CHANGE any sensor settings in any other app on your phone. The only changes occur within the Sensor Kinetics app itself. You can turn off all sensors or suspend them within Sensor Kinetics, and this has no affect on any other app.

Q: Can I export Sensor Kinetics data files (i.e. *.acc, *.mag, *.gyr) directly to my computer? What is the data format of such files?

A: The binary data files we use internally in Sensor Kinetics Pro to store the sensor data are proprietary, and subject to frequent structural and format changes. We do not provide format information for these files. However, all Sensor Kinetics Pro users can easily convert these data files to the standard CSV format for sharing and futher processing on a computer. Use the Files and Sharing menu to share data from Sensor Kinetic Pro. First, save your sensor data recording into a specific file using some useful descriptive name (e.g. "myname_date"). Please note that the file extension is added automatically. Then, using the Files and Sharing menu, select the file and tap "Sharing...". Now you can convert the file to CSV format, and either e-mail it to your computer or simply export it directly via your device's USB port.

Q: What is difference between "acceleration", "linear acceleration" and "gravity"? Are they not all related to the Accelerometer?

A: The Acceleration measured by the Acclerometer is actually equal to the vector sum of the Gravity and Linear Acceleration. The advanced Sensor Fusion algorithm employed in today's modern devices allows the separation of these components individually. Therefore, Sensor Kinetics provides the Accelerometer viewer for the total acceleration readings, as well as the derive sensors viewers for the Gravity and the Linear Acceleration sensors. We also include demo illustrations within the app that allows you to visualize the differences between Gravity and Linear Acceleration. You can access these demos from the main screen.
We receive a lot of similar questions that relate to mechanical physics, and we are happy to have this opportunity to educate the public in a subject so close to our hearts.

Please visit the detailed information we have prepared on the following sensors:

Please make sure to review the recent list of Sensor Kinetics new features.

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