I got few phone but all without gyroscope. In all of them, Street View app says:

360 photo capture is not supported on this device.

Why gyroscope is a must, are the gravity & compass not reliable to make 360 pictures?


Both gravity & compass have (x,y,z) components and I know both have some drawbacks:

  • gravity sensor is affected by acceleration (motion).
  • compass sensor is affected by metals and sometimes get locked is a direction. (move device in 8 path to free it).


  • gyroscope has little drift with time (may not affect in this case)

Anyway, are these enough reasons to drop phones without gyro from 360 photo capturing?

2 Answers 2


An accelerometer measures linear acceleration of movement, while a gyro on the other hand measures the angular rotational velocity. Basically the gyro uses the Earth's gravity to adds an additional dimension to the information supplied by the accelerometer, which measure s non-gravitational acceleration, by tracking rotation or twist.

  • May you have brought to me what I'm missing, I used only to take panorama photos, which uses only around ~8 stop-photos (phone is steady). I'm not familiar with 360 or VR capturing, Are they using phone as scanner, so user keep moving it in all directions with continues capturing till the app fill all the sphere? (phone in motion, compass will not stabilize, and that why gyro is needed) . If they use only gravity & compass, they will need much time to stabilize before capturing in each angle. Which is not the case for gyro.
    – user.dz
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 12:59

Basically 360 photo is a set of photos on a large canvas. gyroscope tells us the orientation of phone. inside the 360 photo viewer module the orientation is mapped to that large canvas with different photos. so when we look around. gyroscope tells operating system about the orientation of mobile and displays respective photo on screen.

  • Yeah, but the acceleration (gravity) sensor can be used too to get the orientation in 3D vector.
    – user.dz
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 10:56
  • Really? @user.dz
    – esQmo_
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 12:34
  • @esQmo, Please, don't take me wrong, I did not mean that android orientation has that option. But acceleration (gravity) sensor and magnetic field sensors gives a 3D vector, so why they don't offer such fall-back option for devices without gyro?
    – user.dz
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 12:39
  • @esQmo, or am I missing something basic/fundamental ? I've updated my question, please was I clear in explaining my point?
    – user.dz
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 12:36
  • Check my answer
    – esQmo_
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 12:44

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