When you have a question about process automation that needs a short answer, let us know with #WishIknew and @Visaya! We’ll reply with a #WishIknew post. It’ll give a quick explanation, then some related articles, videos, or reviews if you want to know more.

I wish I knew what an accelerometer is!

Have you ever wondered how your phone knows how you’re holding it? You can thank a gadget called an accelerometer. It pulls off its little magic trick by sensing a change in gravity and recalculating its orientation.

As you can tell by the name, this handy device measures acceleration forces, both static and dynamic. Static usually refers to a continuous force, like gravity. And dynamic means movements like tilting or turning your phone.

But how does this teeny piece of electronic hardware sense a mechanical force like acceleration? With MEMS, of course! MEMS stands for micro-electro-mechanical systems. But that’s a whole other post, so if you want to know more about MEMS, then drop us a comment!

Anyway, you’ll find that the most common of these sensors are piezoelectric. Many industries use them for monitoring, control, and testing processes. And of course, the phone industry uses them so that your phone knows whether it’s upside down or not!

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