Mozilla has revealed that Firefox 3.6, which is due to be released in beta later this week, will be able to detect the orientation of a user's screen.

Mozilla also said Firefox will then use that real-time positioning information to impact how the browser displays applications and webpages.

The new feature, which was revealed by Mozilla's Christopher Blizzard, was originally developed for mobile browsers but has now been made available, via an API, for a range of devices including MacBooks, Thinkpads and Linux machines.

Achieving the desired tilting effect is made possible due to the hardware being equipped with accelerometers, such as the Macbook Pro.

This new feature is just one of several ways Mozilla is taking Firefox beyond its typical application and exploring how its software can be used in a wider range of instances.

Orientation technology could be seen in a number of situations such as on a tablet device, or in a range of browser based games.

More details, including how to make use of the API, can be found over on Mozilla's Hacks blog.

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See also: Mozilla unveils Firefox plug-in checker