Magnetometers (or Magnetomeeter) are a form of measurement instrument that can read the strength of a magnetic element and the direction of a magnetic field. For many years, no-one outside of science and geology really cared about mangetometers – they were too specialist a device for anyone else to really pay attention to. However, that has changed and now we are hearing far more about them, because those boring sensors are appearing in interesting devices.
Magnetometrs are now used in smartphones as a part of the GPS system, to give the smartphone its compass feature. They allow users to figure out where they are facing, and help them to read maps more easily. They’re also used in metal detectors, and bigger commercial applications.
They are found in mobile phones, tablet PCs and computers – and that should be an amazing thing to learn when you consider that just a couple of decades ago they were big and expensive. Now they’re in tech that can be priced so low as to almost be throw-away! It’s amazing how technology can evolve.
Magnetometers are easily confused and interfered with – at least the ones in smartphones are – but they are getting better. Today, they are reliable enough in things like the iPhone that many people use them as an alternative to a dedicated sat nav.
It’s the magnetometer that helps you when you’re playing Pokemon Go, and it’s a magnetometer that you rely on when you’re playing Ingress and Run Zombies Run too. This device was once the mainstay of expensive and complicated sciences, and now it’s something that we use in our toys. Welcome to the 21st century, and all that entails – we’re living in a world of wonder, and things like the Internet and Magnetometers are just a small part of that.