Introducing the SensorExplorer App

How to get the app

1. From the Microsoft Store: Search "SensorExplorer" or follow this link https://aka.ms/sensorexplorer

2. From GitHub: Go to https://aka.ms/sensorstrace, the app package is available inside the SensorExplorer folder for sideloading.



SensorExplorer is an app available on the Microsoft Store (https://aka.ms/sensorexplorer) and the app package can be accessed through GitHub (https://aka.ms/sensorstrace). 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 example below highlights a quick test to verify orientation sensors are installed in the correct position and the sensor data is as expected. The sensor data is read using the UWP Sensors API (Windows.Devices.Sensors: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/uwp/api/Windows.Devices.Sensors).


2. View: This mode is used for viewing sensor data. 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.). It can help you monitor the abnormal behaviors of the sensors.


3. Inventory: This mode is used for monitoring sensor properties, data and events. In this mode, the app displays the detailed sensor information in tabular format. You may choose from a list of available sensors. You can also use this mode to set the report interval of sensors.


Steps to test your sensors

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 https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/dn642102(v=vs.85).aspx) for more information on orientation and reference frame.
  • Select the type of sensor you want to test from the dropdown menu.


  • Click the "Refresh" button.

If the sensor is detected as available, then you are ready to begin the test.

If the sensor is detected as not available, you can either hit refresh or select another type of sensor to test.


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. Capture4.PNG


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


3. After the tests

  • Click the "End" button to end the app and save the log (data for all rounds of tests will be saved in the log).
  • Or click the “Restart” button to start another round of tests.

How to monitor your sensors

Both the View and Inventory modes 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 is shown in a table and plotted as moving waveforms.



2. Inventory

  • You may select from a list (highlighted in the screen shot below as a red box) of available sensors to be displayed.
  • This mode displays a sensor’s more detailed properties, data and events.
  • The report interval of a specific sensor can be changed here.
  • Logs can be saved.



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 (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/tracerpt_1).



1. Test

The following will be logged:

  • Properties of the selected sensor
  • Information about each test
  • The sensor reading when you pass a test
  • The last sensor reading before the countdown ends, in the case you fail the test

2. Inventory

The following will be logged:

  • Properties of all selected sensor(s)
  • Each time the currently selected sensor’s reading changes
  • Each time the currently selected sensor’s report interval changes


Future Work

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

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