Does screen auto-rotation work on mobile devices in outer space?

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No, screen auto-rotation does not work on mobile devices in outer space.

Auto-rotation on mobile devices is determined by something called an accelerometer. Accelerometers are devices that measure acceleration, which is the rate of change of the velocity of an object. It measures force in 3 dimensions and assumes one dimension will register an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second per second (9.8m/s2), which is the strength of the earth’s gravity.

If you’re in space in a zero g-force (weightlessness) orbit around the earth (and not in the earth), that feedback signal is lost, and the mobile device won’t know which way is up and which way is down. The device would probably rotate all over the place as you journey through space with it.

Astronaut in space
This is a real picture.

One solution that should solve this auto-rotation problem is using the front-facing camera to detect the face in front of it and then orienting the screen appropriately.

Before closing, I want to point out a common misconception about space. Contrary to popular belief, there is gravity in space. Objects (or astronauts) you see in space aren’t actually floating, they are falling. As objects accelerate towards the earth’s surface, the earth curves away beneath them, never allowing them to land anywhere. Since you never land on anything, you feel constant weightlessness and appear to be floating. This can get very technical, but you should get the idea.

INTERESTING FACTS
  1. A full NASA spacesuit costs about $12,000,000.
  2. If two pieces of metal come into contact with each other in space, they will permanently bond together.
  3. The moon was once part of the earth.
  4. The footprints on the moon will be there for millions of years because there is no wind or water to disturb them.
INTERESTING VIDEO

INTERESTING REFERENCES
  1. Quora.com – How would a smartphone’s screen rotation work in space in zero gravity?
  2. Reddit.com – Would a tablets auto-rotate feature work in space?
  3. ThePlanets.rog – Space Facts

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BrickhouseBlue

Nice to know, not. 🙂