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23 August 2012, 10:38

Sony's DASH sensor framework for Android opens for collaboration

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DASH Sony has released its DASH sensor framework as open source on GitHub in the hope that developers will contribute back to the project; the company originally made DASH for its 2011 Xperia devices available as open source in February, but has now moved the project to a web location more amenable to collaboration. Short for Dynamic Android Sensor HAL, DASH is a sensor hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for Android that makes it easier for Android device developers to configure and enable access to the built-in hardware sensor components of their devices such as accelerometers, proximity sensors, ambient light sensors and gyroscope.

With the framework, developers can use the same sensor code across different devices and hardware. This reduces the code maintenance and integration costs required to build devices that allow access to the sensors. DASH dynamically configures which sensors are available at runtime and allows sensor code to call on the sensor's own calibration libraries and configuration files. The software already includes code for the sensors in Sony's existing Xperia smartphones; new sensor code will be added by Sony as it releases new phones.

The company hopes that, by making DASH available as open source, developers of custom ROMS will benefit from its work and will contribute back their own sensor implementations and modifications to the project to improve the framework. The developers at Sony say they have already worked with members of the FreeXperia team and with the CyanogenMod project, creators of free custom Android firmware for a number of devices.

"By having DASH released as open source, there will be a robust sensor HAL implementation that the public can use," said Sony Mobile software engineer Oskar Anderö, adding that, "Anyone can make improvements, such as adding new features and bug fixing. And through GitHub, developers working with sensor libraries can quickly integrate a sensor HAL solution."

A overview of how DASH works and a getting started guide can be found in the release announcement by Anderö on Sony's Developer World blog. Source code for DASH is hosted on the company's GitHub page and is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.


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