Sense for iOS Apps

With the Sense iOS Platform you can add context awareness to your iOS apps. You can enable the sensors of your choosing and log them to SenseIoT. The library also allows you to retrieve your data from SenseIoT and give feedback to your state sensors. You can download the open-source library from the GitHub project page.


The project is setup as a static library. That means you can either compile the project and link against it, or add it as a cross-reference project in Xcode. The latter is explained below. See also this apple keynote

  1. Download the library from GitHub.
  2. Make sure the library project is not opened in Xcode (not even as a sub project in another project), open your project and drag the library’s .xcodeproject file on top of your own project in xcode
  3. Add the library target to the “Target dependencies”. Select your project in the project navigator, select your target and go to the tab “Build phases”. In “Target Dependencies” add the Sense Platform
  4. Add the library to “Link binary with libraries”: This can be done in “Build phases”->”Link binary with libraries”.
  5. Include at least the following frameworks in “Link binary with libraries”
    • CoreLocation
    • CoreMotion
    • CoreAudio
    • AVFoundation
    • AudioToolbox
    • CoreTelephony
    • SystemConfiguration
  6. Add the ‘-ObjC’ and ‘-all_load’ flag to your linker flags (see the Apple guide)
  7. In your delegate at startup put [CSSensePlatform initialize]; and the necesarry import: #import
  8. In your delegate’s willTeminate add [CSSensePlatform willTerminate];

Apple only allows applications to sense in the background if the position sensor is enabled, it does not matter with what accuracy. To do this, enable the location sensor ([[CSSettings sharedSettings] setSensor kCSSENSOR_LOCATION enabled:YES];), and also add to your info.plist file the UIBackgroundModes:

  • “App registers for location updates”
  • and if you are using the noise sensor also add “App plays audio”.

Example code


- (void) initExample {

     //Use the settings singleton to change the settings for sensors
    CSSettings* settings = [CSSettings sharedSettings];
    //Set the credentials to log in to SenseIoT with an existing account
    [CSSensePlatform loginWithUser:@"username" andPassword:@"password"];

    //Some settings
    //Set location accuracy to 100 meters
    [settings setSettingType:kCSSettingTypeLocation setting:kCSLocationSettingAccuracy value:@"100"];
    //sample every 60 seconds the motion sensors
    [settings setSettingType:kCSSettingTypeSpatial setting:kCSSpatialSettingInterval value:@"60"];
    //sample every 60 seconds the ambience sensors.
    [settings setSettingType:kCSSettingTypeAmbience setting:kCSAmbienceSettingInterval value:@"60"];
    //Upload every 15 minutes to SenseIoT
    [settings setSettingType:kCSSettingTypeGeneral setting:kCSGeneralSettingUploadInterval value:@"900"];

    //Enable some sensors
    //Need the location sensor to run in the background
    [settings setSensor:kCSSENSOR_LOCATION enabled:YES];
    [settings setSensor:kCSSENSOR_BATTERY enabled:YES];
    [settings setSensor:kCSSENSOR_NOISE enabled:YES];
    [settings setSensor:kCSSENSOR_ACCELEROMETER enabled:YES];

    //Listen to data from the sensors
    [[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] addObserver:self selector:@selector(newData:) name:kCSNewSensorDataNotification object:nil];

    //Use this to enable/disable the whole sense platform
    [settings setSettingType:kCSSettingTypeGeneral setting:kCSGeneralSettingSenseEnabled value:kCSSettingYES];

- (void) getDataExample {
    //Retrieve the last 5 data points from the Location sensor, the sensor doesn't have to be associated with this device
    NSArray* data = [CSSensePlatform  getDataForSensor:@"Location" onlyFromDevice:NO nrLastPoints:5];

- (void) feedbackExample {

    //Give feed back on the location (a state sensor that is created by default for everybody)
    //Give feedback that we were at work the past hour
    NSDate* to = [NSDate date];
    NSDate* from = [to dateByAddingTimeInterval:-3600];
    [CSSensePlatform giveFeedbackOnState:@"Location" from:from to:to label:@"Work"];

//The function that acts upon new sensor data
- (void) newData:(NSNotification*)notification {
    NSString* sensor = notification.object;
    //Look for battery sensor
    if ([sensor isEqualToString:kCSSENSOR_BATTERY]) {
        //extract value
        NSDictionary* data = [[notification.userInfo objectForKey:@"value"] JSONValue];    


Have a look at the documentation for more information.

Known issues

  • When the noise sensor is enabled sometimes problems occur when switching the app to foreground/background that result in the app crashing.


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.