QtSensors Qt Sensors C++ Overview

On a device there can be many types of sensors. Not all of the types that the Qt Sensors API supports may be available. There may also be types available that are not defined in the Qt Sensors API. The types of sensors available on a device is found using the QSensor::sensorTypes() function.

For a list of built-in sensor types, see the Sensor Classes section below.

Unless specified otherwise, Qt Sensors uses the Right Hand Cartesian coordinate system .

To allow for measurements in all 6 directions, negative values are used.

Where rotation around an axis is used, the rotation shall be expressed as a Right Hand rotation.

In general, sensor data is oriented relative to QPlatformScreen::nativeOrientation, that is to the top of the device when the device is held in its natural orientation (normally when the device logo appears the right side up). If values are to be displayed on the screen, the values may need to be transformed so that they match the user interface orientation. A sensor may define its data as being oriented to the UI. This will be noted in the documentation for the sensor.

The life cycle of a QSensor is typically:

  • Create an instance of QSensor or one of its sub-classes on the stack or heap.
  • Setup as required by the application.
  • Start receiving values.
  • Sensor data is used by the application.
  • Stop receiving values.

Here is an example of creating a sensor on the heap and on the stack.

// On the heap (deleted when this object is deleted)
QAccelerometer *sensor = new QAccelerometer(this);
// On the stack (deleted when the current scope ends)
QOrientationSensor orient_sensor;

The preferred way to deal with sensor data is via the Reading Classes . However, sometimes this may not be possible. For example, you may be deploying an application to a device that has a new sensor type but no C++ header describing the reading class is available.

Thanks to Qt’s property system you can still access the sensor data. You need to know 3 pieces of information in order to do this:

  • The sensor type.
  • The property name or index.
  • The property type or a comparable type.

For example, here is an example of how you can access a property of the accelerometer. This code does not require any compile-time links to QAccelerometer or QAccelerometerReading.

// start the sensor
QSensor sensor("QAccelerometer");
sensor.start();
// later
QSensorReading *reading = sensor.reading();
qreal x = reading->property("x").value<qreal>();
qreal y = reading->value(1).value<qreal>();

You can discover all of this information at runtime too. The sensor_explorer example shows you information about available sensors.

The Qt Sensors API has a front end, for application developers to use and a back end, where device implementors write code to access their hardware. As an application developer you do not need to access the back end though it may be useful to understand how it works.

Commands from the application are delivered through QSensor and then down to the device plugin. Data comes back through the QSensorReading class.

More information about the back end can be found in Qt Sensors Backend.

The primary classes that make up the Qt Sensors API.

QSensor Represents a single hardware sensor
QSensorFilter Efficient callback facility for asynchronous notifications of sensor changes
QSensorReading Holds the readings from the sensor

The best way to access sensor data is via one of these classes.

QAccelerometerReading Reports on linear acceleration along the X, Y and Z axes
QAltimeterReading Holds readings from the altimeter sensor
QAmbientLightReading Represents one reading from the ambient light sensor
QAmbientTemperatureReading Holds readings of the ambient temperature
QCompassReading Represents one reading from a compass
QDistanceReading Holds distance reading in cm from the proximity sensor
QGyroscopeReading Represents one reading from the gyroscope sensor
QHolsterReading Holds readings from the holster sensor
QIRProximityReading Holds readings from the IR proximity sensor
QLightReading Represents one reading from the light sensor
QMagnetometerReading Represents one reading from the magnetometer
QOrientationReading Represents one reading from the orientation sensor
QPressureReading Holds readings from the pressure sensor
QProximityReading Represents one reading from the proximity sensor
QRotationReading Represents one reading from the rotation sensor
QTapReading Represents one reading from the tap sensor
QTiltReading Holds readings from the tilt sensor

These classes provide convenience wrappers that reduce the need for casting. Each of these classes represents a sensor type that the Qt Sensors API knows about. Note that additional types may be made available at run-time. See Sensor Types for more information.

QAccelerometer Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QAltimeter Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QAmbientLightSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QAmbientTemperatureSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QCompass Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QDistanceSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QGyroscope Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QHolsterSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QIRProximitySensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QLightSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QMagnetometer Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QOrientationSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QPressureSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QProximitySensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QRotationSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QTapSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor
QTiltSensor Convenience wrapper around QSensor

As with the sensor classes, these provide convenience wrappers that reduce the need for casting.

QAccelerometerFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QAltimeterFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QAmbientLightFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QAmbientTemperatureFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QCompassFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QDistanceFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QGyroscopeFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QHolsterFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QIRProximityFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QLightFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QMagnetometerFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QOrientationFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QPressureFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QProximityFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QRotationFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QTapFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter
QTiltFilter Convenience wrapper around QSensorFilter