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I've just started playing with electronics and I'm wondering. As you guys probably know, using the iPhone you can get the direction that the user is facing.

My question is, what electronic component I need to buy to make a consumer electric device that gets the user direction?

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You want a compass.

Like the normal analog ones, it senses the orientation of the earth's magnetic field.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 - back to basics with no hint of humour or disdain LOL \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jan 12 '14 at 19:10
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There are several IC that can provide such info, for example

You will probably have a hard time trying to utilize a bare chip so you should probably get a module (breakout) board that can connect easily to a microcontroler.

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