Does anyone know what the collective term for shaking a device to achieve something or using the accelerometer of a device to do something is? Is it haptic technology?

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    hap·tic/ˈhaptik/ Adjective: Of or relating to the sense of touch.
    – user7519
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 23:05
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    Haptics usually refers to a device that responds to user interaction with tactile feedback - like the rumble pack in game controllers or vibrator in a phone or the haptic mechanism in the screen of some of the fancier BlackBerrys. (Blackberries?)
    – greyfade
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


I would say semantically Kinetic would be a better term than Haptic.

ki·net·ic adjective /kəˈnetik/

Of, relating to, or resulting from motion

(of a work of art) Depending on movement for its effect

For semantics questions like this english.stackexchange.com is very valuable.

The iPhone 4 for example has 2 accelerometers and 1 gyroscope, all of which rely on motion ( kinetic action ) and nothing to do with touch ( haptic ).

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    +1: seems much more correct, another +1 for link to the English Q&A ...
    – IAbstract
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 23:15
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    So would you say if someone shook their phone to perform an action they were using Kinetic Technology? Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 23:18
  • @Jonas Nielsen: <pedantic>I would say they were using the accelerometer. </pedantic> Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 23:51
  • @Tux-D the iPhone 4 has more motion sensors than just the accelerometers, it also has a gyroscope which is kinetic motion input as well.
    – user7519
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 0:05

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