Accelerometers are small devices embedded into laptops, gps and some mobile phones. They detect movement, generally for good reason, eg Laptops have accelerometers that tell the hard drives...ooops I'm falling-park the drive heads now before i crash and reach the ground. Generally this is why you see two types of g force reading on laptop spec pages...eg operational and switched off.
I've seen 'fun' applications written before to make use of these before (check out
But when I came across this post today I know I was onto a major winner - this is the coolest use of an accelerometer in a mobile handset I've ever seen.
"UK researchers have developed software that represents a handset's battery life by using a phone's speaker and vibrator to make a device feel and sound like it contains liquid. You give it a shake to find out how much is left. The same technique can be used to represent new messages by simulating balls rattling around inside a box. It runs on recent Nokias with accelerometers; video from the researchers explains it well."
I love the last idea about checking battery life by swooshing audio - this one is the best. Hit me back with some ideas of how you would like to see them used in your life.