Register for Updates

Registering for updates forms the core of this extension. The extension works by registering for notifications of device motion. When you register for updates you specify a series of options about the updates which the extension use to determine the algorithm that is used to calculate the device orientation, and also the information format that is returned.

To register for updates call the register function:



The options passed to the register call contains all of the information about the algorithm to use, the format to return and the rate of events.

  • The algorithm represents the method we use to calculate the position and motion of the device.
  • The format what data the extension returns when device motion is detected and the type of update events that are fired from the extension
  • The referenceFrame influences the sensors that are used for the algorithm
  • The rate is the speed at which update events are delivered. You should pick one of the SensorRate values best suited for your needs. The default is SensorRate.SENSOR_DELAY_NORMAL which is the slowest update rate, suitable for "screen orientation changes". Most applications will use something faster than this.

To create the options you can instanciate an instance of the DeviceMotionOptions class directly, though we suggest you use the DeviceMotionOptionsBuilder to help ensure the options are created correctly and any errors picked up early. The functions on the builder may throw an error if the parameter you supply is invalid.

For example:

var options:DeviceMotionOptions =
new DeviceMotionOptionsBuilder()
.setAlgorithm( Algorithm.NATIVE )
.setReferenceFrame( ReferenceFrame.Y_ARBITRARY_Z_VERTICAL )
.setAutoOrient( true )
.setOutputFormat( OutputFormat.QUATERNION )
.setSensorRate( SensorRate.SENSOR_DELAY_UI )
DeviceMotion.service.register( options );

See [Algorithms and Format](u.Algorithms and Format) for more information on the algorithm, formats and reference frames used in the extension.


The type of event you listen for is dependent on the format you requested, as each will have a different data associated with the update. For example, euler angles with have 3 numeric values, and quaternion will have 4.

Having different events allows you to handle them with different functions if you require.

For example to listen for quaternion updates:

DeviceMotion.service.addEventListener( DeviceMotionEvent.UPDATE_QUATERNION, updateHandler );

Or to listen for euler angle updates:

DeviceMotion.service.addEventListener( DeviceMotionEvent.UPDATE_EULER, updateHandler );

The event contains a data property which will be an array of Number values. It contains all of the values for the event type. In the following example handler we switch on the type and then apply the transformation to an Away3D trident object.

private function updateHandler( event:DeviceMotionEvent ):void
// Reset to original position then rotate to current position
var matrix:Matrix3D = new Matrix3D();
_trident.transform = matrix;
switch (event.type)
case DeviceMotionEvent.UPDATE_EULER:
var azimuth:Number = event.values[0];
var pitch:Number = event.values[1];
var roll:Number = event.values[2];
matrix.appendRotation( DEG(azimuth), _trident.forwardVector );
matrix.appendRotation( DEG(pitch), _trident.rightVector );
matrix.appendRotation( DEG(roll), _trident.upVector );
_trident.transform = matrix;
case DeviceMotionEvent.UPDATE_QUATERNION:
var q:Quaternion = new Quaternion( event.values[1], event.values[2], event.values[3], event.values[0] );
_trident.transform = q.toMatrix3D();


To stop updates and the algorithm processing you call the unregister function.

Be sure to unregister a sensor's listener when you are done using the sensor or when the sensor activity pauses. If a sensor listener is registered and its activity is paused, the sensor will continue to acquire data and use battery resources unless you unregister the sensor.



We highly suggest that you check for deactivation events in your application and make sure that you unregister the device motion updates. This is to reduce strain on the device and increase battery life.

Something like the following:

NativeApplication.nativeApplication.addEventListener( Event.DEACTIVATE, deactivateHandler );
function deactivateHandler( event:Event ):void
if (DeviceMotion.isSupported && DeviceMotion.service.isRegistered)
catch (e:Error)