How can your phone screen react to the way you’re holding it? Learn how an accelerometer works.
Micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are silicon circuits with a mechanical aspect. Using MEMS to create a capacitor, which is two plates that are electrically separated, allows the capacitor to become an accelerometer. The plates are shaped to allow slight movement along an axis, and a small weight is attached. When the direction of the weight changes, the plates shift, causing a measurable change in capacitance which can be used to determine direction. Shifting the shape of the weight allows for different axes to be measured.