'Oscar' Adapter Connects Retina iPad Display Panel to Macs via Thunderbolt

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Oscar, a new Kickstarter project currently seeking funding, is an Arduino-compatible adapter that's able to connect a high-resolution screen to a computer. The adapter comes attached to the same 9.7-inch display used in Apple's Retina iPads, and uses DisplayPort or Thunderbolt to connect to a computer.

    When connected to a Mac, the Oscar adapter allows the high-resolution 2048 x 1536 panel to be used as a second screen.

    The complete Oscar kit includes an LCD screen that comes with an acrylic case and a stand, allowing it to be used for a range of second-screen purposes. The adapter included with the display powers the LED backlight and controls the power supply. Because it's Arduino compatible, the adapter can be used to control variables like backlight brightness through USB.

    The full Oscar kit, with display, laser cut acrylic case, power supply, stand, and DisplayPort/USB cables can be obtained through a £150 pledge, equivalent to approximately $250. The screen alone can be purchased for £110, or $183, and the panels are expected to begin shipping in July of 2014.

    Update 1:09 PM PST: As MacRumors forum user rootyb has pointed out, a similar product from Adafruit is already available for purchase for $250.

    Article Link: 'Oscar' Adapter Connects Retina iPad Display Panel to Macs via Thunderbolt
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2009
    New Hampshire

    whats this good for? did we just re-invent the wheel here
  3. macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    The only way I can see this being utilised well is hooked on to the side of an iMac/Cinema display somehow. It just seems entirely pointless hooking a 10" display up to a 13/15/17" laptop.
  4. macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Only way I see this as remotely interesting or worth while is if you can capture touch back to the computer. But, it looks like display only without a digitizer. Maybe they think people want to run an iPad display off of an Arduino? If you want a second screen on your computer, just buy one.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    about 3 meters from here. *points*
    Neat, I guess, but am I missing something here? Seems like this would only be important if:
    1. You could plug in an iPad and use it as an external monitor or
    2. There is some additional benefit of using an Arduino for some expanded purpose.

    Doesn't seem like this is the case, so I guess good for them that they figured out how to make an external monitor that plugs into Thunderbolt...:confused:
  6. macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2011
    London, UK
    I read this post a few times - I'm still not too sure I understand.
    Does this differ to an additional external screen whatsoever?
    Looks interesting, but is there any additional benefit to using this?
  7. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    It's 264DPI.

  8. macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    There are apps for that. What advantage does a hard-wired solution offer?
  9. macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2011
    London, UK
    True, but couldn't I hook up my iPad wirelessly with Air Display and use that?
    Maybe this can extend your screen, whereas Air Display only mirrors?
  10. macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2009
  11. macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    Probably no lag? Not that I'm going to buy this, just saying..


    There are iOS apps that can do both - mirror and extend. I'm assuming this will eliminate any lag, and the need of a wireless network.


    LOL. Same price too. ~$250.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2012
  13. macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2013
    Vacaville, CA
    solutions looking for problems.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2011
    Ottawa, Canada
    For that price I'd rather have a 24" monitor and money to spare. I love high resolution - nothing but diminishing returns here IMO.
  15. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2009
    This is cool, but why isn't there a way to simply use an iPad as a second monitor? Also where do these guys get the iPad display from?
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    Love the idea. It's a special solution for special situations, definitely. One possible usage could be as on-stage display for musicians. The iPad is not yet running all the software I need on stage, and using this together with a Mac Mini might be a nice alternative.
  17. macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2009
    No way a musician in general will use it. This is a result looking for a solution.
  18. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I wonder if that was already for sale when the kickstarted group started this project six months ago.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    External LCD Display

    I've been looking for something similar to this for a while.

    I want an LCD display so I can use my MacBook easier in the sunlight.
    I don't need color but it'd be nice to have shades of grey/gray.

    I don't care if it's actually LCD, just so that I can read it in the sunlight. My old XO OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) looked excellent and was VERY legible in the sunshine.

    It can plug into the USB or VGA (or lightning) or some combo of them all. I'd just like to be able to get some work done while outside and be able to see my display.

    Thank you for ANY suggestions.
  20. macrumors 68030

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    I've been looking to do exactly this. I've seen how-tos online, but haven't had the time to bust out the soldering iron.

    For me, it would be a display I can move among headless Mac Minis. Not what I would call a huge market, but it's important to me. I'm tired of having to carry the dang things over to where I have a display so I can see what made them crash or because I misconfigured something remotely.
  21. macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2014
    I use AirDisplay and you can create another screen, not just a mirror. I think it a more flexible solution than dedicated (non-touch?) display proposed here. But perhaps thunderbolt connection is more reliable and can show less lag.
  22. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Other iPad/Mac screen extenders are available. I use the excellent DisplayPad myself.

    The only difference between it and Air Display (apart from being dramatically cheaper) is that it only supports Mac, not Windoze.
  23. macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2014
    Thanks for the tip, i will try it!
  24. macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland
    There has been displays of this size for ages. Do you both have any use of 264dpi?

    Are you looking for macbook with matte screen (I am...) or do you need e-reader-like screen (available natural backlight)?

    I'd just like to have hdmi-in dongle to my iPad (which screen should also be matte). If it also had video encoder chip inside the dongle, it would be perfect viewfinder & recorder for video camera...
  25. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    So basically this is a "next-gen" USB monitor?

    Shhh, don't let the Apple fanboys hear you ;)

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