Waiter, There's a Barometer in My Motorola Xoom Tablet and I Don't Know Why!

Illustration for article titled Waiter, There's a Barometer in My Motorola Xoom Tablet and I Don't Know Why!

To think that we placed Motorola's XOOM tablet in our favorites list, before learning it's got a barometer. A FRIGGIN' BAROMETER. Oh, so your widdle iPad has thousands of apps? But can it measure the atmospheric pressure, huh? HUH?

Apparently Android 2.3 (aka, Gingerbread) is the first version of Android with barometer-support, which Motorola has taken advantage of along with the usuals: accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope...


So why a barometer? It'll be handy not only for ultra-accurate weather conditions (particularly for those outdoors-inclined), but could also lend some appeal to lacklustre developers' tools, with rafts of new apps using the barometer for the greater good. At the very least, it'll be useful for meteorologists and pirates (of the "arrrr!" kind).

Or maybe it's just one of those "because I could"-type additions. Time will tell. [Motorola via PhoneArena via Engadget]

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When are these devices going to get really smart? We keep adding little features that feed us more and more information, but when will they start to distribute their own data readings?

For instance, a barometer in every one's smartphone could share its readings across the 'net to a centralized data collection point (I'm looking at you, Google) which would then in turn be able to provide extremely accurate weather information down to a specific area.

Another example of this could be road traffic... If I and hundreds of other smartphone users are using the GPS feature on our phones, and we are all traveling on the same highway when we encounter some sort of delay, the collective GPS data would show that our travel speed (which should be, let's say 65 for example) has decreased. This could essentially provide up-to-the-second traffic information...

On a side note, I'm totally ready to be assimilated.