updated 07:20 am EDT, Tue June 20, 2006
Apple ambient light sensor
Mac developer Amit Singh has posted details on Apple's ambient light sensor found on Apple's MacBook Pros (and some newer PowerBooks). Although Apple has not provided any details on the API for the light sensors, which are used to adjust the brightness on the notebook's illuminated keyboard, Singh has offered details on its operation and some example code. In particular, the developer offers details on retrieving readings from the ambient light sensor, retrieving and setting the LED brightness value of the backlit keyboard, and initiating an LED fade to a target brightness value over a specified duration. Singh says he has tested all of the code on a MacBook Pro, but that it may work on some newer PowerBooks as well. In addition, Singh offers cource for retrieving and setting a display's brightness, although he says has not yet tested it. Singh was the first to offer details on Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor, which lead to the development of an application interface that allowed other developers to develop innovative uses for Apple's notebook sensor, including the SmackBook software, which produces a horizontal transition to a new desktop when a user taps ("smacks") the notebook/screen on either side.