Magnetometer in Smartphones and Tablets

The magnetometer sensor in your tablet or smartphone also utilizes the modern solid state technology to create a miniature Hall-effect sensor that detects the Earth's magnetic field along three perpendicular axes X, Y and Z. The Hall-effect sensor produces voltage which is proportional to the strength and polarity of the magnetic field along the axis each sensor is directed. The sensed voltage is converted to digital signal representing the magnetic field intensity.  Other technologies used for magnetometer may include magneto resistive devices which change the measured resistance based on changes in the magnetic field.

The magnetometer is enclosed in a small electronic chip that often incorporate another sensor (typically a built in accelerometer) that help to correct the raw magnetic measurements using tilt information from the auxiliary sensor. 

In addition to general rotational information, the magnetometer is crucial for detecting the relative orientation of your device relative to the Earth's magnetic north.

Use the Sensor Kinetics app to learn about the Magnetometer

Sensor Kinetics displays realtime charts for the three axes of the magnetometer embedded in your phone.

iPad Sensor Kinetics chart for Magnetometer

The charts can be viewed in either portrait or landscape mode.

iPad Sensor Kinetics chart for Magnetometer

The magnetometer sensor (seen here on an Android phone) is crucial for detecting the orientation of your device relative to the Earth's magnetic north.

Android Sensor Kinetics Chart for Gyroscope

The magnetometer readings are reported in micro Tesla units (┬ÁT). When experimenting with this sensor, you can see the effect of device rotation relative to the magnetic north, or you can move a magnet near your device.

Other Popular Smartphone Sensors

For further questions, please contact us at 1+ (281) 879-6226, fax 1+ (281) 879-6415, e-mail

Learn more about the sensors of today's mobile devices with our Sensor Kinetics apps.

"This all in one toolkit gives charts, graphs, and more to learn gravity, movement, vibrations, and magnetic fields around you. Try it just for fun, or use it to collect data for your next science experiment!"
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Sensor Kinetics for Android


Sensor Kinetics for iOS


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