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Sensors For The Web!  |  Web  |  Google Developers
Sensors For The Web!

By Alexander Shalamov
Alex is an Engineer at Intel


By Mikhail Pozdnyakov
Mikhail is an Engineer at Intel
Today, sensor data is used in many native applications to enable use cases such as immersive gaming, fitness tracking, and augmented or virtual reality. Wouldn't it be cool to bridge the gap between native and web applications? The Generic Sensor API, For The Web!

What is Generic Sensor API?
The Generic Sensor API is a set of interfaces which expose sensor devices to the web platform. The API consists of the base Sensor interface and a set of concrete sensor classes built on top. Having a base interface simplifies the implementation and specification process for the concrete sensor classes. For instance, take a look at the Gyroscope class, it is super tiny! The core functionality is specified by the base interface, and Gyroscope merely extends it with three attributes representing angular velocity.

Typically a concrete sensor class represents an actual sensor on the platform e.g., accelerometer or gyroscope. However, in some cases, implementation of a sensor class fuses data from several platform sensors and exposes the result in a convenient way to the user. For example, the AbsoluteOrientation sensor provides a ready-to-use 4x4 rotation matrix based on the data obtained from the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.

You might think that the web platform already provides sensor data and you are absolutely right! For instance, DeviceMotion and DeviceOrientation events expose motion sensor data, while other experimental APIs provide data from an environmental sensors. So why do we need new API?

Comparing to the existing interfaces, Generic Sensor API provides great number of advantages:

Generic Sensor API is a sensor framework that can be easily extended with new sensor classes and each of these classes will keep the generic interface. The client code written for one sensor type can be reused for another one with very few modifications!
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