Introducing the SensorExplorer App

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Sensors Blog articles.

Last updated: 08/22/2018


How to get the app

1. From the Microsoft Store: Search "SensorExplorer" or follow this link

2. From GitHub: Go to, the app package is available inside the SensorExplorer folder for sideloading.

* The source code is available at




SensorExplorer is an app available on the Microsoft Store ( and the app package can be accessed through GitHub ( The app offers tests that allow you to quickly verify the installation of supported sensors such as orientation sensors (accelerometer, simple orientation sensors, etc.), and detailed tables and plots that enable you to monitor different sensors. In addition, logs can be conveniently saved later for debugging.


There are three modes (menu bar on the left-hand side) in SensorExplorer:


1. Test: This mode is used for manual testing of supported sensors. The orientation test verifies orientation sensors are installed in the correct position and the sensor data is as expected. Other tests, such as frequency, offset and jitter test, are also available. The sensor data is read using the UWP Sensors API (Windows.Devices.Sensors:


2. View: This mode is used for viewing sensor data and properties. In this mode, the app displays a data visualization from a variety of sensors (such as accelerometer, compass, gyrometer, inclinometer, light sensor, and orientation sensor, etc.), and shows detailed sensor information in tabular format. It can help you monitor the abnormal behaviors of the sensors, and you can also use this mode to set the report interval of sensors.


3. MALT: This mode is used for connecting to and controlling MALT (Microsoft Ambient Light Tool), a simple low-cost light testing apparatus. The tool combines a microcontroller, light sensors, and a controllable light panel to calibrate light sensors and visually measure a panel's light curve.


How to test your sensors

You may explore what tests are available for each sensor on your system by scrolling the top menu bar (highlighted in the screen shot below as a red box).



1. Orientation test

This test asks you to orient the device in different directions and then checks the sensor reading accordingly.

A pass/fail result will be displayed at the end of the test.


1.1 Before you begin the tests

  • Under the test mode, if you find that the display rotates when you rotate your device, please turn off auto-rotation on your device (Search “Rotation Lock” in Settings and turn it on). Otherwise, you do not need to turn off auto-rotation.
  • Please refer to the Device Reference Frame section found in the whitepaper at for more information on orientation and reference frame.


1.2 During the tests

  • Click the "Start" button to begin the tests.
  • For each test, you have 10 seconds to orient your device so that the arrow on the screen is pointing down toward the ground.


(1).You may click the icon (highlighted in the screen shot below as a red box) to hide the menu bar during the test.

(2). The menu bar is disabled during the test and will be enabled once the test finishes.

(3). For the Simple Orientation Sensor, the four directions tested are face up, face down, left, and right. For all other sensors, the four directions tested are up, down, left and right.



  • Once the sensor data reflects that your device is indeed in the desired orientation, a green checkmark will be displayed. And you will automatically move on to the next test.



  • Otherwise, after 10 sec, a red x will be displayed as this round of tests has failed. Capture5.PNG


1.3 After the tests

  • Click the "Save Log" button to save the log file(data for all rounds of tests will be saved).
  • Or click the “Restart” button to start another test.


2. Frequency Test

This test calculates the number of sensor readings received/60 seconds.

A numeric value will be displayed at the end of the test.


3. Offset Test

This test calculates the average error in sensor readings compared with the expected value.

A numeric value will be displayed at the end of the test.


4. Jitter Test

This test calculates the maximum difference in sensor readings during a period of time, compared with the initial reading.

A numeric value will be displayed at the end of the test.


How to monitor your sensors

The View mode will automatically detect any sensors that are attached to or embedded in your platform. It will then display the information that it reads from the sensors.


1. View

  • You may scroll the top menu bar (highlighted in the screen shot below as a red box) to change the sensor being displayed.
  • For each sensor, the current data and properties are shown in a table and plotted as moving waveforms.
  • The report interval of a specific sensor can be changed here.Capture6.PNG


More on Logging

When you click the “Save Log” button, you may choose the location to save the log file. The default name of the ETL (Event Trace Log) file is “SensorExplorerLog”, but you may change it.

To view the ETL file, you may use the tracerpt command (



1. Test

The following will be logged:

  • Properties of the selected sensor
  • Information about each test
  • For orientation test: 
    • The sensor reading when you pass a test
    • The last sensor reading before the countdown ends, in the case you fail the test
  • For other tests:
    • All sensor readings collected during the test
    • The final result


Future Work

Some of the functionalities that we are planning to add to SensorExplorer include:

  • Integrate all functions of MALT (Microsoft Ambient Light Tool)
  • Other types of sensor tests
  • Improve logging infrastructure



















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