The Next-Gen iPad: With a 3-Axis Gyroscope?

If the latest reports are to be believed then the much awaited next generation iPad will debut next year and yes, it will also be equipped with a three-axis gyroscope. The iPhone is an Apple device which has this gyroscope right now.

As you may already know most advanced mobile devices are predicted to have 3 axis gyroscopes along with accelerometers. This aids in various gesture-based actions with the device, better navigation and of course has immense gaming potential, as has been displayed by devices such as the Nintendo Wii.

Apple has supposedly tested a three-axis gyroscope for its iPad prototypes and will also include one manufactured by ST Microelectronics in the final product.

Through the iPad and the iPhone 4 were designed around the same time, it is a bit strange that one of them missed out on the gyroscope, while the other did not. However it looks as if Apple is out to set things right!

And there’s overwhelming proof that the current iPad design itself can accommodate the three-axis gyro. An iPad ripped open for test purposes (don’t try this at home!) reveals a vacant 24 pad slot beside the accelerometer, on the circuit board. The iPhone uses the same accelerometer and right beside it is the gyroscope, which takes up 16 pads. So, we are actually looking at a perfect fit with lots of room to spare!

When the iPad was still work-in-progress, a firm named InvenSense did offer a three-axis digital gyro to Apple, which required exactly 24 pads to fit in. So maybe apple did consider putting it in before dropping the idea at the eleventh hour. And now perhaps they will fit in into the next iPad. There are even similarities in the signal path between the iPhone 4 ARM processor and the gyro in it and the iPad processor and the empty gyro slot. All roads lead to Rome on this one!

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It will be interesting to see what other changes the next installment of the iPad has to offer. One thing is for sure, that with pre-tested components – Apple will be saving a lot on software development!