Until recently, the restrictions placed on developers meant that if you were an independent developer, or even a small company, you probably couldn’t get access to the documentation and components you needed to connect your iOS device to an arbitrary piece of hardware. Little of the innovation that people were expecting with the arrival of the External Accessories framework actually occurred, and much of the blame for this is usually laid at the feet of Apple’s Made for iPod (MFi) licensing program.
However the arrival of an MFi approved serial cable has changed all of that, for the first time its easy to connect your proprietary Apple hardware to the Open Source world.
This tutorial will walk you through connecting an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to an Arduino or other external hardware using an RS-232 adaptor. This is hardware hacking for iOS developers. You’ll learn how to build iOS applications that talk to the real world, talk to sensors that talk back, and make iOS part of the Internet of Things.
Alasdair Allan is the author of Learning iPhone Programming and iPhone Sensor Programming published by O’Reilly Media. He is a senior research fellow in Astronomy at the University of Exeter, and as part of his work there he is building a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, can reactively schedule observations of time-critical events and carry out complex long term monitoring of variable objects. Notable successes include contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2. Alasdair also runs a small technology consulting company writing bespoke software, building open hardware and providing training. He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, and more frequently provides commentary about them in 140 characters or less.
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