Triggers for background tasks

The SensorCore SDK provides a set of triggers for background tasks:

  • StepCounterUpdate - Raised when the user has moved at least 5 steps and at least 10 minutes have elapsed since the last step counter trigger, for example, in order for the app to update the step count in the live tile. Also raised at midnight in order for step counter applications to reset their daily statistics.
  • MotionDataCleared - Raised when motion data is cleared from the settings. In Motion data settings 1.x, Motion data was cleared by tapping the clear motion data button. In motion data settings 2.X, Places and Tracks motion data is cleared automatically when the user turns off the Places visited setting. Steps and Activities motion data cannot be cleared.
  • SenseApiStateChanged - Raised when motion data or location has been switched on or off. When using motion data 1.X settings, this trigger is raised when the user toggles system location or motion data settings. When using motion data 2.X settings, this trigger is raised when the user toggles the system location or Places visited settings.

Here, we explain how to add support for the StepCounterUpdate trigger in your application. Start by adding a new Windows Runtime Component project to your solution. If you already have a Windows Runtime Component in your solution, you can also use that.


Next, you'll need to add a class to the runtime component that implements the IBackgroundTask interface:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Windows.ApplicationModel.Background;
namespace BackgroundTasks
    /// <summary>
    /// Background task class for step counter update trigger
    /// </summary>
    public sealed class StepCounterTriggerTask : IBackgroundTask
        /// <summary>
        /// Performs the work of a background task. The system calls this method when
        /// the associated background task has been triggered.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="taskInstance">An interface to an instance of the background task</param>
        public void Run( IBackgroundTaskInstance taskInstance )
            BackgroundTaskDeferral deferral = taskInstance.GetDeferral();
            // Do something here

Then, add a reference to the runtime component in your application.


Next, you'll need to register the background task in your application. Notice that not all devices support all triggers, so you should call SenseHelper.GetSupportedApiSetAsync to check whether a trigger is supported by the device or not.

public MainPage()
    this.Loaded += async( oo, ee ) =>
        if( await SenseHelper.GetSupportedApiSetAsync() >= 2 )
            await RegisterBackgroundTask( SenseTrigger.StepCounterUpdate,
                "stepcountertrigger", "BackgroundTasks.StepCounterTriggerTask" );

private async static Task RegisterBackgroundTask(
    String triggerName, String taskName, String taskEntryPoint )
    BackgroundAccessStatus result = await
    if( result != BackgroundAccessStatus.Denied )
        // Remove previous registration
        foreach( var task in BackgroundTaskRegistration.AllTasks )
            if( task.Value.Name == taskName )
                task.Value.Unregister( true );
        // Register new trigger
        BackgroundTaskBuilder myTaskBuilder = new BackgroundTaskBuilder();
        var myTrigger = new DeviceManufacturerNotificationTrigger(triggerName, false );
        myTaskBuilder.SetTrigger( myTrigger );
        myTaskBuilder.TaskEntryPoint = taskEntryPoint;
        myTaskBuilder.Name = taskName;
        BackgroundTaskRegistration myTask = myTaskBuilder.Register();

Finally, you'll need to declare the background task in the application manifest. Add the following to Package.appxmanifest:

  <Extension Category="windows.backgroundTasks" EntryPoint="BackgroundTasks.StepCounterTriggerTask">
          <Task Type="systemEvent" />

Now, build and deploy your application. The background task should get triggered when the user has moved at least 5 steps and at least 10 minutes have elapsed since the last step counter trigger.

As opposed to normal system triggers, SensorCore SDK triggers do not enforce CPU usage limits. Also, you will receive the triggers regardless of whether the device is running on battery power or not.

Please refer to MSDN for more information about triggers and background tasks.