JavaScript library to use a device with a gyroscope (like every smartphone from the last few years) as a pointing device for a screen.

Documentation / API

The library consists of two parts: GymoteRemote and GymoteScreen, with the idea that both run on different devices.

It's built around the idea that a WebRTC or WebSocket connection is used to send data. To keep latency as low as possible, data ist sent as an ArrayBuffer.


The remote reads out the values of the gyroscope, calculate where the device is pointing at and return the x and y coordinates on the screen. For this to work, it needs to be aware of these two values:

  • Size of the screen in pixels
  • Distance from the phone to the screen, measured in pixels, relative to the viewport width.

You need to somehow pass this information to the remote whenever it changes.

In addition, the remote supports clicking and touch events, but again you have to update the state yourself, by having a button, attach event listeners to it and so on.

Once all is wired up you need to send the remote data to the screen whenever it changes. The remote doesn't emit an event for that, you have to pass a function which will received the data as the first argument. In there you send the data via your WebRTC or WebSocket connection.

Requesting access to gyroscope

Starting with iOS 12.2 accessing device motion data (like gyroscope) requires permission from the user. As of September 2019 there is no way to check if permission has been granted, so the best bet is to ask for permission on every page load.


The "receiving" end is mostly responsible for emitting events based on the incoming remote data. The data (ArrayBuffer) is passed to the handleRemoteData function. Common events like pointerdown, pointermove or touch are emitted, so it should be easy to integrate in various setups.

Sending data

Gymote was built with low latency and performance in mind. But for achieving the best results the data needs to be transmitted from the remote to the screen in the shortes amount of time possible.

Peersox was built with exactly this in mind, providing a client and server to pair two devices and send data via WebRTC data channels, with WebSocket for signaling and fallback.