The next iteration of Firefox, version 3.6, will be able to detect the orientation of laptops and mobile devices that come loaded with accelerometers. Mozilla evangelist Christopher Blizzard announced the new feature on a blog post yesterday and offered a short video of the technology in action.

The feature was originally planned for the mobile version of Firefox only, according to Blizzard, but since a few laptops already have tilt sensors built-in, Mozilla developers decided to include it in the desktop version as well. Some possible uses being tossed around include labyrinth-type games with virtual marbles rolling on boards, and a number of other gaming situations.

While I can't imagine tilting a full-fledged laptop to play labyrinth-type games will ever catch on, orientation-aware gaming makes much more sense on mobile devices. Furthermore the technology could also be of some use on business-oriented web applications when combined with a tablet device. Developers need only add a simple event listener to their JavaScript code to use the orientation information.

You can view more information and demos about the upcoming feature on Fennec developer Doug Turner's blog. A beta release of Firefox 3.6 is expected to arrive soon, assuming the Mozilla team hasn’t hit any last minute snags, followed by the final version later this year.