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Modern smart phone platforms, like Apple’s iPhone, come with a growing range of sensors; GPS, accelerometers, magnetometers and more recently gyroscopes. They also have a (near-)ubiquitous data connection, whether via a local wireless hotspot or via carrier data, and user positioning via multiple methods including GPS.
They would make an excellent hub for a distributed sensor network. However it is actually quite difficult to interface these otherwise interesting devices using standard serial devices. In the case of the iPhone the proprietary dock connector is a major stumbling block. During this session we will present several different methods which will allow you to connect any iOS device to an Ardunio, or in some case directly to an XBee mesh-network.
We will first discuss the official route, using the MFI approved Redpark serial cable, this makes use of Apple’s own External Accessory Framework. Whilst the most expensive route, it is also the simplest. However in addition to this we will go on to discuss using the headset interface to enable communication with external serial devices, this is a fairly well trodden route with several well known examples such as the Square credit card reader. Finally we will look at more off-the-wall routes such as repurposing the official MIDI interfaces, as well as the ANT+ protocol.
Alasdair Allan is the author of Learning iOS Programming, Programming iOS Sensors, Basic Sensors in iOS, Geolocation in iOS, iOS Sensor Apps and Arduino and Augmented Reality in iOS. Last year he and Pete Warden caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location, all the time. This caused several class action lawsuits and a U.S. Senate hearing. He isn’t sure what to think about that. From time to time he stands in front of cameras, and you can often find him at conferences run by O’Reilly Media.
He runs a small technology consulting business writing bespoke software, building open hardware and providing training, including a series of workshops on sensors. He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, or more frequently provides commentary about them in 140 characters or less.
Alasdair is also a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter. As part of his work there he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes which, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2.
Brian Jepson is an editor for O’Reilly Media; he covers a number of areas, including Arduino, wireless sensor networks, mobile devices, as well as some Microsoft and Apple topics.
He likes to hack on gadgets such as Arduino and the Netduino in his spare time, and he is also the co-founder and co-host of Providence Geeks, a monthly gathering in Providence, RI.
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