Why is Barometer used in Smartphones? Is it linked to GPS?


One of the parts in a smartphone is called a barometer. The main reason your phone has a barometer is to help figure out your vertical location. That means it helps your phone know how high up you are.

Key Takeaways

  1. Enhanced GPS Accuracy: The barometer in smartphones improves GPS accuracy by providing precise vertical location data, which is essential for determining elevation changes.
  2. Fitness Tracking: It aids in fitness tracking by measuring air pressure changes to calculate the number of floors climbed, contributing to more accurate health data.
  3. Emergency and Weather Applications: Barometers enhance local weather forecasting and provide critical altitude information during emergencies.

Barometers in Smartphone

barometers in phones

The digital barometers in your smartphone have a special job: they help make GPS more accurate, especially when it comes to figuring out your elevation – that’s how high or low you are. You see, GPS can sometimes get confused because atmospheric pressure – the weight of the air – can mess with the signals.

By measuring the air pressure, the digital barometer helps your phone know exactly how high up you are. This can be super helpful when you’re using maps or trying to find your location, especially in places with lots of floors like skyscrapers or mountains.

So, in a nutshell, the digital barometer in your phone is there to make sure your GPS works better, helping you know exactly where you are, up or down.

Role in Vertical Location

Alright, let’s chat some more about why barometers are hanging out inside your phone. The main reason they’re there is to give your phone super-accurate vertical location data. In plain words, they help your phone know exactly how high up or low down you are.

Here’s how it works: whenever you move up or down, like climbing stairs or taking an elevator, the barometer senses the change in air pressure that comes with that movement. It measures how the air pressure changes as you go up or down.


Now, your phone already uses GPS to figure out where you are on a map – that’s your horizontal location, or your x/y position. But GPS alone isn’t perfect when it comes to figuring out your height. That’s where the barometer steps in. By measuring the air pressure changes, it gives your phone extra info about your vertical position.

So, when you combine the GPS data with the barometer’s pressure readings, your phone gets a much clearer and more accurate picture of where you are, both side-to-side and up-and-down.

If you want to know how GPS works, click here

Other Applications

There are several other possible applications of barometers used in smartphones.

applications of barometers in smartphones

Fitness Tracking

Imagine you’re on a mission to get fit. You decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Well, your phone’s barometer is paying attention to that. As you climb those stairs, it senses the change in air pressure.

Now, why does this matter? Because your phone can use this data to tell you how many floors you’ve climbed. This info gets sent to your health app, where you can see your progress and keep track of your physical activity more accurately.

Local Weather Forcasting

Digital barometers can provide real-time atmospheric pressure data, which can be used to improve local weather forecasting. Apps can predict short-term weather changes like approaching storms or fair weather based on pressure trends.

Easy Navigation in an Emergency

During emergencies, accurate altitude data can be crucial for first responders. Barometers in smartphones can assist in locating individuals trapped in multi-story buildings by providing precise floor level information.


First off, the barometer gives us super-precise info about how high or low we are, which is really handy when we’re navigating through tall buildings or mountains. This helps GPS work better, so we don’t get lost. Secondly, the barometer helps our phones give us more accurate health and fitness data.

It’s a small part of our phones, but it makes a big difference in how we interact with technology every day.

Note: Any verdict given by us on any of the companies, or specs of a device is subjective. Our preferences can be different from yours, so be sure to conduct your own research to make a decision that is good for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does barometer save battery life of smartphone?
The barometer can help improve battery life by assisting the GPS in determining your location more efficiently. With accurate elevation data from the barometer, your phone’s GPS can quickly pinpoint your location without using excessive power to correct altitude errors. However, this is partly theoretical and does not make much of a difference in practical use.
Can the smartphone barometer be used for scientific research or educational purposes?
Absolutely! The barometer in smartphones can be utilized in educational settings for experiments related to atmospheric pressure and weather patterns. It can also be used by amateur scientists to collect and analyze environmental data for research projects.
How does the barometer enhance augmented reality (AR) applications?
In augmented reality (AR) apps, accurate positional data is crucial. The barometer helps provide precise altitude information, enhancing the AR experience by ensuring that virtual objects are placed correctly relative to the user’s real-world environment, particularly in multi-level or uneven terrains.

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