Why is there an accelerometer?

The BIOS knowledge page mentions that there is an accelerometer inside the Framework Laptop. I know in the past, they were used in laptops to protect HDDs by disabling them when sudden movement is detected. AFAIK the only other use for it on an SSD-only laptop is for 2-in-1s to determine screen orientation.

Since the Framework Laptop has neither of these, what is the purpose of the accelerometer?


Who says this motherboard couldn’t be used in a 2-in-1 in the future? :grin:

My guess is that it was a feature that was more trouble to exclude than just leave in for whoever is doing their hardware integration.


They are almost free, especially on this scale. And who knows, hack some motion detection in your race game :slight_smile:

Could also be a second purpose: detect the angle/open/close of the lid (if mounted in the lid)


I guess theoretically you cold put it on its side if you wanted a portrait screen. I do hope they get a 2in1 DIY.

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We have it off by default, but we left it in there in case folks want to run ChromeOS or Android in the future which have more use for it. We were also considering it to enable a “lap detect” feature at some point. If none of these end up being useful, we’ll probably remove it from future mainboards for cost savings.


I like it! I may make some automations to make use of it, when I get one in my hands.
For example, reduce FPS and GPU to minimums if it’s shaking (when shaking you are carrying it or doing something you really can’t look at the screen properly) and save battery that way, even if it was forgotten turned on.
Or even, if the accelerometer is good enough, detect when it is in a car and change the brightness calculations and other timers so the driver is not distracted by the co-pilot’s PC usage
So many things can be done!


The accelerometer is probably useful for emulating game consoles that use motion inputs.

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I like the sound of this idea… think of automation potential.

This can be used for fall detection or something? I know it is not an Apple Watch but this can be a helpful piece of information for diagnostics or repair. It would be helpful to know whether the device suffered some mechanical shock. For example if it did suffer some mechanical shock the repairman would like to check if any ports joints became loose.

Just guessing.

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Now that I think about it, can the accelerometer be used for screen rotation? I might actually try to use that.

hear me out… VR thinclient. if the accelerometer is good enough then all you would need is a headset with 4 standard expansion ports, 2 for wide-angle cameras for inside-out tracking and two for USB-C/PD?DP into two monitors in the headset.

This is an active discussion right here, if you want to talk about it more! We’re having some ideas, and we can’t be hurt by more!

If/when you do, be sure to share it here, that sounds like something I’d love to do, but I’d love it even more if it was already done, lol.

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Just a note on this that we’re going to be removing the accelerometer from upcoming manufacturing. This is one part that there is a global shortage around, and rather than risk our ability to produce Framework Laptops on time, we decided to de-populate the part. Given that it was never enabled by default in BIOS, and I suspect nobody is actually using it, there is probably no real-life impact to this. There is potentially an interesting path to build an accelerometer+gyro+magnetometer Expansion Card to be a more capable motion sensing tool as a project.


Is there a timeframe for when/which batches would get their accelerometer neutered?


I don’t know what I might have used it for (probably nothing), but so far I’ve not even been able to find it in Linux despite enabling it in BIOS.

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That’s really sad to know… I just ordered the November batch and saw this thread. Planning to make a project with the accelerometer…

@Xiaoling_He I’m hoping an IMU expansion card (acc+gyro+mag) will be one of the first things to show up on the marketplace.


This is a cool idea. A lap detect mode that triggers some extra cooling to keep your legs from getting spit roasted while letting the system run hotter and faster when on a desk would be a nice little QoL feature.

Though the removal of the part to ensure your boards ship in a timely manner does seem more important than a possible future feature.


Is there a way to tell if our laptop was built before or after the accelerometer was removed from the manufacturing process?