Engadget noticed STMicroelectronics issued a press release that details the features of its LSP331AP chip that is present inside Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone. This new pressure chip can track your altitude with very high accuracy, the company claims the mobile device will know not only on which floor of a building it is located, but almost on which step of the staircase. The chip opens up new opportunities for indoor navigation and also comes in handy for mountaineering.
The piezoresistor-equipped MEMS chip tracks altitude through atmospheric pressure with an uncanny knack for precision; it can tell when you've crossing between floors, which could be more than handy for future iterations of indoor navigation. Don't worry if you're an extreme sports junkie that might push the limits, either. The sensor can do its job at the kinds of pressure you'd normally see when 32,800 feet high or 5,900 feet below sea level, which should keep it working even if you're checking your phone during a climb up K2 or a HALO skydive. We don't know if anyone beyond Samsung is lined up to use ST's pressure sensor in their devices, but we wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a mainstay for smartphones and outdoor gear in the near future.