How does my device's accelerometer know how far I ran on the treadmill?

Author's Note

Because I both run and love tech, I have sampled quite a few running apps -- at least a dozen. I can attest that none of them are entirely accurate in tracking indoor distances, but using the calibration options some of them offer really helps. Even so, if I really, truly, absolutely feel like I need to accurately gauge my pace, I take it outside.

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More Great Links


  • Barański, P., M. Bujacz, and P. Strumiłło. "Dead reckoning navigation - supplementing pedestrian GPS with an accelerometer-based pedometer and an electronic compass." 2009 (April 3, 2012)
  • Cho, Dae-Ki, et al. "AutoGait: A Mobile Platform that Accurately Estimates the Distance Walked." UCLA, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. (April 3, 2012)
  • Hillrunner. "Treadmill Pace Conversions." (April 3, 2012)
  • Texas Instruments. "Accelerometers and How They Work." (April 3, 2012)