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iPad IO Control

Discussion in 'iPhone/iPad Programming' started by dataustin, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Let me first say that I have little programing experience. That being said, I would like to use an iPad to control an external device. My first thought is to have a UI of a series of buttons similar to a phone keypad that when pressed, send serial commands over the bluetooth interface to an external device. Can the forum advise as to where I might start this effort (software to create the UI and pass the commands thru the bluetooth port, etc) and what roadblocks lie ahead?

    Thanks in advance for your expertise.
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    The first roadblock will be that you don't have access to the bluetooth stack so the entire thing will be impossible (at least on a non-jailbroken iPad).
  3. macrumors newbie

    Say I remove that roadblock, would it be intuitive to a UI programmer as to how to send the IO commands thru the stack and if so, is it as simple as locating a programmer to create the "keypad" UI?
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I have no idea: I have no interest in Jailbraking so have no idea. If it's anything like the Mac OSX bluetooth stack then it depends on what you mean by "UI Programmer". Any decent programmer with a good grasp of Object Oriented Programming, Objective-C and pure C who could probably work it out, although as there is little documentation it'd be much harder than on the Mac OSX side. If by "UI Programmer" you mean someone who uses drag-and-drop tools to layout components for a UI then it'd be impossible without learning the skills I previously mentioned.
  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    What are the actual requirements for the data link between the iPad and the external device?

    Is it bidirectional? Could you consider IR instead of BlueTooth? How about WiFi? ...

  6. macrumors newbie

    Robbieduncan, that answers that. Even if I did go down that path I don't have access to that level of expertise.

    Balamw, the application is uni-directional out to the device (stepper motor controller) with no plans to provide feedback back to the iPad. I would prefer WiFi but somehow got hung up on the bluetooth path because I found a bluetooth/RS-232 converter for the target.

    Would I be facing similar issues if we were to use the iPad's WiFi interface?

    Thanks again.
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    You'd not need to jailbrake the iPad but you'd need a similar skillset.
  8. macrumors 603

    If you use wifi, it's fairly easy. You could even do a simple web app and have a server echo the commands to the device.

    Using Bluetooth is pretty much impossible on stock iOS devices unless you are a large company with manufacturing and legal departments.
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    OP: You might want to read through this thread and the ones linked from it.


    If you have a real cheap BT/RS-232 adapter you could always build one into the diode circuit from the headphone jacks as well. :p


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