Ask Difference

Accelerometer vs. Pedometer — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 26, 2023
Accelerometer measures acceleration forces; Pedometer counts steps taken.
Accelerometer vs. Pedometer — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Accelerometer and Pedometer


Key Differences

An Accelerometer is an electronic device that detects and measures acceleration forces, which can be static, like the force of gravity pulling at an object on the earth's surface, or dynamic, arising from moving or vibrating the device. A Pedometer, on the other hand, is specifically designed to count the number of steps a person takes by sensing body motion.
Accelerometers have a wide range of applications beyond just measuring steps. They are used in phones for orientation detection, in cars for airbag deployment systems, and in various other industries where movement detection is crucial. Pedometers, while having a specific function, are primarily used in fitness and health sectors to help individuals monitor their daily activity levels.
Both Accelerometers and Pedometers use motion-sensing technology, but they process and interpret the data differently. While an Accelerometer will provide data on the direction and intensity of movement, a Pedometer primarily focuses on counting steps, often converting this count into an estimated distance traveled or calories burned.
The modern Pedometer often incorporates Accelerometer technology. This is because Accelerometers can provide more detailed data about motion, which can be used to enhance the accuracy of step counting. Nevertheless, it's important to note that not every device with an Accelerometer functions as a Pedometer, but many modern Pedometers use Accelerometers.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Measures acceleration forces
Counts steps taken


Phones, cars, industry
Fitness and health monitoring

Data Provided

Direction and intensity of movement
Number of steps, often converted to distance or calories


Found in various electronic devices
Specific devices, some modern ones use Accelerometers

Focus of Measurement

General movement and orientation
Human walking or running patterns

Compare with Definitions


Can determine direction and intensity of motion.
The Accelerometer helps deploy the car's airbags during a collision.


Used to monitor physical activity.
His goal was to increase his daily count on the Pedometer.


Common in modern electronic gadgets.
The game uses the device's Accelerometer for control.


Promotes fitness and health.
She got a Pedometer to motivate her to walk more.


Measures both static and dynamic accelerations.
The phone's screen rotates thanks to its built-in Accelerometer.


Device counting individual steps.
She checks her Pedometer to see if she reached 10,000 steps.


Used to detect device orientation.
Tablets use Accelerometers to determine portrait or landscape mode.


Can estimate distance and calories.
The Pedometer showed he'd walked five miles today.


Provides detailed movement data.
Engineers tested the structure using an Accelerometer.


Detects body motion patterns.
He adjusted the sensitivity on his Pedometer for more accurate counting.


An accelerometer is a tool that measures proper acceleration. Proper acceleration is the acceleration (the rate of change of velocity) of a body in its own instantaneous rest frame; this is different from coordinate acceleration, which is acceleration in a fixed coordinate system.


A pedometer, or step-counter, is a device, usually portable and electronic or electromechanical, that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the person's hands or hips. Because the distance of each person's step varies, an informal calibration, performed by the user, is required if presentation of the distance covered in a unit of length (such as in kilometers or miles) is desired, though there are now pedometers that use electronics and software to automatically determine how a person's step varies.


An instrument used to measure acceleration.


An instrument that gauges the approximate distance traveled on foot by registering the number of steps taken.


An instrument for measuring acceleration.


A device, often electronic, that measures the number of steps taken, and thus estimates the distance walked.
He thought that buying a pedometer would spur him on to exercise.


An instrument made for detecting and measuring vibrations.


(North American) paedometer


An apparatus for measuring the velocity imparted by gunpowder.


An instrument for including the number of steps in walking, and so ascertaining the distance passed over. It is usually in the form of a watch; an oscillating weight by the motion of the body causes the index to advance a certain distance at each step.


An instrument for measuring the acceleration of aircraft or rockets


Measuring instrument for recording the number of steps taken in walking

Common Curiosities

What does an Accelerometer do?

An Accelerometer measures acceleration forces, both static and dynamic.

What is the primary purpose of a Pedometer?

A Pedometer counts the number of steps a person takes.

Where are Accelerometers commonly found?

In smartphones, tablets, cars, and many electronic devices.

How does a Pedometer help in fitness?

It monitors daily step count, encouraging physical activity and tracking fitness goals.

Why is the Accelerometer crucial in phones and tablets?

It detects device orientation, enabling features like screen rotation.

How accurate are Pedometers in counting steps?

It varies, but those using Accelerometer technology tend to be more accurate.

Does an Accelerometer detect direction of movement?

Yes, it can determine both the direction and intensity of movement.

Can Pedometers track other activities besides walking?

Primarily designed for walking or running, but some can estimate other activities based on step patterns.

Can an Accelerometer count steps like a Pedometer?

Yes, many modern Pedometers use Accelerometer technology for enhanced accuracy.

Do all fitness trackers use Pedometer technology?

Most fitness trackers have a step-counting feature, making them similar to Pedometers.

Is every Pedometer also an Accelerometer?

Not necessarily, but many modern Pedometers incorporate Accelerometer technology.

How does an Accelerometer differ from a gyroscope?

While both detect movement, Accelerometers measure acceleration, while gyroscopes measure rotational movement.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms