Use the Motion API to easily develop apps for the new Smart Imaging Stand [SDK+video]

Going with the Xperia Z1, Sony also revealed the new Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M  at IFA in Berlin today. The Smart Imaging Stand pairs with your smartphone through one-touch NFC, and then launches a SmileCatcher app, which automatically follows people’s faces and takes pictures whenever someone smiles. In other words – a perfect party companion! For developers, there is a new experimental Motion API available, which will let you develop innovative new apps for the Smart Imaging Stand. Get all the details in the full post.

The new Smart Imaging Stand tilts and rotates 360° to keep the subject or subjects in focus. You can also choose to record video while running the SmileCatcher app. Your smartphone will control the Smart Imaging Stand via Bluetooth®. Pairing and connecting is easily done over one-touch NFC. If the smartphone is not NFC-enabled, normal Bluetooth® pairing also works. The Smart Imaging Stand is powered by two AA batteries.

Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M.

Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M.

The new Motion API
For developers, the new experimental Motion API will allow your app to control how the Smart Imaging Stand moves around its own axle (pan), and the smartphone holder can also be moved back and forth (tilt).

There are three sub interfaces defined for the Motion API:

  • Configuration
    This sub interface defines the different methods for how the characteristics of the Smart Imaging Stand is updated (for example, firmware versions and speed definitions).
  • Control
    The Control interface contains the actual methods to control the pan and tilt axes of the Smart Imaging Stand.
  • Event
    The Event interface defines the different callback methods for the asynchronous communication.

The Motion API is implemented as a bound service that resides in a host application and follows the Android Messenger pattern. The Motion API developer kit includes a helper class that will ease this implementation, by taking care of the binding to the service, and by setting up the Messengers. This helper class is called SmartImagingStandManager.

New use cases
The launch of the Smart Imaging stand and the Motion API opens up for a number of potential use cases. Here are some examples that could be developed by creative developers:

  • You could develop a video call- or hangout- type of app.
  • You could develop an app that follows the person talking (for smartphones with stereo microphones).
  • You could develop a turn-based game between two persons sitting in front of each other, with the Smart Imaging Stand in the middle, showing the screen only to the person playing at the moment and then rotating for each turn.
  • If you pair the smartphone with a SmartWatch or SmartWatch 2 (and develop a Smart Extension for your app), there are even more potential use cases when controlling the Smart Imaging Stand from a remote device.

Expose your Smart Imaging Stand app to all users
Besides the chance of creating a new innovative app, Smart Imaging Stand apps will also get another benefit as your app can get visibility towards basically all Smart Imaging Stand users. This is because you can add a search string to the Google Play™ description for your app, and then your app will automatically show up when the end user searches for more applications from the Smart Connect accessory control application.

Start developing
We have today made a Motion API developer kit available. The Motion API developer kit includes everything you need to get started developing*:

  • Motion API constant definitions
  • Helper classes
  • JavaDoc
  • An extension example
  • Developer guidelines documentation

To get started, go to the Motion API page for download and installation instructions. More information about how to use the Motion API is available in the Developer guidelines available in the Motion API developer kit.

To develop apps using the Motion API, you should be familiar with Java programming in an Android environment.


Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M specifications

  • Dimensions: Diameter 127 mm. Height 120 mm.
  • Supports Bluetooth® 2.0 or later.
  • NFC-enabled.
  • Compatibility: Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M requires Android 4.0 or above, and is optimised for Xperia™ smartphones from Xperia™ Z1 and onwards. Functionality may vary between models.
  • LED: Blue, white.
  • Rotation: 360°.
  • Colour: Black.
  • Power supply: 2 x standard AA size batteries.
  • Includes a removable smartphone holder with a standard internal 1/4-20 UNC camera thread for tripod or other mount.
  • Will be on sale from late September on selected markets.


More information

* Since the Smart Imaging Stand is a unique device, there is no way to emulate it with software. You will need an actual Smart Imaging Stand for testing and development.

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