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Gyroscope & Accelerometer Settings - Motion Orientation Permissions

Published Jul 23, 2019

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In order to unlock full functionality with RateYourSeats.com’s new Interactive 360º Seat View Photos on an iPhone, it’s necessary to grant Safari permission to access ‘Motion & Orientation’.

What does that mean?

We thought we’d take this opportunity to explain how the iPhone’s Motion & Orientation function works. It’s governed by the device’s internal gyroscope and accelerometer (feel free to skip ahead to the sections below that explain these). Don’t worry, we’ll discuss how these work on Android devices, too.

But first…

Why Are Motion & Orientation Listed Under ‘Privacy And Security’ On My iPhone?

In order for many VR- and AR-enabled websites to work with full functionality, it’s necessary to share motion and orientation data gathered by a smartphone device’s accelerometer and gyroscope. While no proof exists that these data have been used to harm consumers, a report by Wired in 2019 raised the possibility that sharing motion and orientation data generated by the accelerometer and gyroscope hardware could give websites access to a user’s location, in a manner analogous to sharing location data.

In other words, sharing motion and fitness data with a website is another way to share your location (which also requires users to grant permission) and is a common feature of millions of websites and applications.

To be clear—while sharing one’s location gives an app access to an explicit confirmation of location, in the hands of a skilled analyst, the more minute and detailed information regarding user movement granted by Motion & Fitness permissions could be extrapolated into data describing a user’s location.

Long story short—granting Motion & Fitness permissions is effectively sharing your location.

iPhone Accelerometer enables interactive 3D features

After the Wired article was published, Apple ensured that, just like location-sharing, motion and fitness data are only shared after a user had granted permissions.

RateYourSeats.com stands by Apple’s decision, and as such we will ask iPhone users to share their Motion and Fitness data with us before our new Interactive 360º Seat View Photos can be used on an iPhone.

For more information on the steps we take to protect user privacy, please read our privacy policy.

how to turn on motion & orientation guide


Smartphone Accelerometers & Their Interaction With Gyroscope Sensors

All Apple and most Android devices contain both an accelerometer and a gyroscope.

Accelerometers measure the speed at which a device is accelerating, and then capture the data generated. A spring is used to measure acceleration. After that, sophisticated software can use the generated acceleration data to power functionality such as changing device orientation between landscape and portrait views, or measuring the device holder’s steps, thereby acting as a pedometer.

The gyroscope captures additional information about the smartphone’s tilt and orientation, which enhances, supports and enriches the data captured by the accelerometer. The gyroscope kicks in and supplies this data when a device is not accelerating fast enough for the accelerometer generate useful data. This allows for extra precision in mobile applications, such as RateYourSeats.com’s Interactive 360º Seat View Photos.

Interactive 360º seat view photos

Enjoy VR- & AR- By Enabling Motion & Fitness Access

As you can see, allowing your smartphone to share Motion & Fitness data enables it to do all sorts of useful things.

For a great example of this technology in use, make sure to check out RateYourSeats.com’s new Interactive 360º Seat View Photos. Here are some of our team member’s favorites:

360º View Oracle Park

360º View Fenway Park

360º View Dodger Stadium