Not many of you know that the brand new Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone comes with a barometer… and not many of you will be impressed by that feature. Well, thanks to Dan Morrill, an Android engineer we now have a good idea of why Google and Samsung included this extra sensor on the device.
The purpose here is to get better GPS positioning and getting a more accurate reading plus a faster one and all of that thanks to the barometer. This sensor helps determine the altitude, that together with the latitude and longitude is a key factor in determining one’s position on the map. In case you didn’t know, the Motorola Xoom tablet also has one of these barometers installed.
GPS systems will determine your latitude and longitude, but they have a problem with altitude, so this is where the barometer enters the stage. aGPS is also of great help to the tracking system, since it uses a approximate location from towers, but it only aids the GPS and can’t figure out the altitude exactly. So… now we know what to do with a barometer on a phone!