Developers have found new header files in a directory labeled "compass" under iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5. These files point to Japanese company Asahi Kasei’s azimuth sensor No. AK8973. The reference describes a chip otherwise known as a digital compass, or a magnetometer, that comes bundled with a master clock oscillator.
The confirmation of this additional hardware on the next-generation iPhone is exciting, to say the least. Applications that would take advantage of an azimuth sensor have only begun to develop and make a multitude of new functionality possible.