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April 4, 2014

Tapping into your phone’s sensors: Nokia SensorCore

Earlier this week at Build Nokia announced the Nokia SensorCore including an SDK for developers. Nokia SensorCore allows applications to use the sensors in a Lumia phone without worrying about the battery life.

“Our phones have been filled with very precise sensors for years,” explains Timo Joutsenvirta, Technology Marketing Manager at Nokia. “Just think about how the compass or GPS works when you load up HERE Maps. That data comes from sensors.”


“We’re now at a point where many other applications, like fitness and health applications, also want to utilize sensor data. In order for these apps to understand how you move throughout the day they continuously need to collect sensor data, which may put a strain on battery life. To overcome the battery drain problem, we needed to implement a new software solution that was capable of running at very low power as well as a hardware component that acts as a buffer between the sensors and the applications.”

With the launch of Nokia SensorCore Nokia is making this low power functionality available for Nokia Lumia 1520, Lumia Icon and Nokia Lumia 930 and also on the more affordable devices, Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 635.

To enable application developers to benefit from this functionality the Nokia SensorCore SDK provides the necessary APIs so that Windows Phone 8.1 applications can tap into the capabilities of Nokia SensorCore. The Nokia SensorCore SDK will be available initially for Lumia 1520, Lumia Icon, Lumia 930, Lumia 630 and 635, running on Windows Phone 8.1.

The Nokia SensorCore SDK provides developers APIs to access step counter and activity information but also capabilities to record your location data in a very low power mode.


But what does this mean, exactly?

The new Nokia SensorCore software in a range of Lumia devices mean that when you take a step, the phone in your pocket will know it. Not only know it, but also be able to record it and pass the data to applications like Bing Health & Fitness.

It will know when you’re walking, running, or anything else that involves your location and how you move about in it. Potentially, your phone could be programmed to perform a certain task when specific criteria are met.

For example, your phone could automatically calculate how many calories you burn when doing your usual jog on Monday morning or when window shopping in a local mall. Your phone will be able to show you how much time you have spent at your workplace during the week.

“If you’re a Windows Phone developer and you want to make apps based on real-time sensor data coming directly from your customers, you’re going to need the Nokia SensorCore SDK that will be available to download soon from Nokia Developer” tells Mikko Lönnfors, Lead Program Manager at Nokia.

Are you looking forward to more real-time personal data about yourself? Think of the possibilities? Tailored solutions! What’s not to feel excited about?