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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 a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer, and journalist who has recently been spending a lot of time thinking about the Internet of Things, which he thinks is broken. He is the author of a number of books and sometimes also stands in front of cameras. You can often find him at conferences talking about interesting things or deploying sensors to measure them. A couple of years ago, he rolled out a mesh network of five hundred sensor motes covering the entirety of Moscone West during Google I/O. He’s still recovering. A few years before that, he caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location all the time, which caused several class-action lawsuits and a US Senate hearing. Some years on, he still isn’t sure what to think about that.
Alasdair sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him or, more frequently, provides commentary in 140 characters or less. He is a contributing editor for Make magazine and a contributor to O’Reilly Radar. Alasdair is a former academic. As part of his work, he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of what was—at the time—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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