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Magnetic Sensor, a hidden Google Nexus 7 feature

July 12, 2012

The Google Nexus 7 has been one of the most talked about devices in recent times. And with good reason! The Nexus 7 is the first device to introduce the possibility of high-speced devices at comparatively very low costs. If that isn’t enough, the Google slate will also be the first tablet running the highly-anticipated Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Following its announcement at this year’s recently concluded Google I/O, we thought we knew everything we could possibly learn about this device.

Apparently we didn’t.

The Nexus 7 also houses a magnetic sensor at the bottom left corner of the device (in portrait orientation) that turns the device on and off when a magnet is placed over it. This piece of hardware was thus far “hidden,” as neither ASUS, the device manufacturer, nor Google advertised this availability. The “secret” feature was discovered by a Nexus 7 user who just happened to run a magnet over the face of the device. He then uploaded a video to Youtube and sent this interesting tidbit to Android Police:

There are now a bunch of unanswered questions following this discovery. Why is the magnetic sensor a hidden feature? What purpose will it serve? Will it work with the new smart covers announced by ASUS? Is this going to start yet another patent infringement war? These questions will hopefully be answered in the coming days.

What are your thoughts? Were you surprised by the discovery of the magnetic sensor? Why do you think this was an unadvertised feature? Let us know in the comments section below.