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Wednesday, 14 October 2009 06:33

Firefox 3.6 features real-time accelerometer support

Written by Jon Worrel

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MacBook and ThinkPad users rejoice

The engineering team over at Mozilla has been cooking up an interested surprise for its user base in its upcoming Firefox 3.6 release. The browser will now be able to detect a mobile device’s orientation as long as it is equipped with an accelerometer that can tell which way is down.

"One new feature that we're including as part of Firefox 3.6 is support for web pages to access machine orientation information if it's available," said Christopher Blizzard, Mozilla Evangelist. "Many modern MacBooks and ThinkPads contain devices and drivers that expose this information. We've added support for Linux, Macs and some ThinkPads where drivers and devices are available."

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Mozilla’s new device orientation JavaScript API is very simple to implement and was originally built as something the team would include in a future mobile browser release. The addition of the feature would allow developers to build applications and listen for changes in a device’s gravitational orientation.

According to Mozilla, the API is very simple to use and only requires a simple event listener to be enabled. A short video clip of the feature in action on a MacBook pro can be found here.

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In retrospect, the last two months of developmental changes in Firefox have been somewhat invasive and poky to user environment data. Not only can a site use a JavaScript API call to geolocate a user through Google Gears, it can also now distinguish the way a user is specifically holding his or her device in physical space. Nevertheless, we should remind skeptics that the “Allow” button is not the only option available to choose from if we are to continue such intuitive technological endeavors.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 11:10

Jon Worrel

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