Is serial input into the iPhone possible?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Earendil, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    So, I have this project that in no way involved my iPod Touch, and only possibly involved a Mac...until now.

    What I want to do: Use my iPod Touch to display data sent to it via the cable
    How I think it should be done: Values over a serial connection

    I've searched here, nothing. I searched google, and can find 2 people on forums saying "rx/tx communication to an iPod via serial communication is possible with SDK 3.0". However a quick look through the SDK reveals nothing. I really want to know, IF this is possible. Once I know if it's possible, I can spend time figuring out how.

    Background:
    I'm interfacing an Arduino micro controller to my old car as a fun project. I was going to pick up a really cheap old PC laptop (because they sell 2nd hand for close to nothing, and I don't have a mac laptop) to use in the car to display what info the arduino captures. However, I have an iPod touch, and intend to get an iPhone in the near future. It occurred to me that I could use my iPod touch as a far superior dedicated interface/display for information within my car. However this is a large divergence from were the project was going (C# dev to ObjectiveC iPhone dev) and finding information to determine if this is even possible is harder than I would expect.

    Side note: There are a number of projects that interface an Arduino and iPhone via a wireless router that sits between them. However if I am in a car this does not seem as like an easy solution. Also, I'm a CompSci major by education, I'm delving into EE stuff for the fun of it, and this is my first project :)

    Thanks to anyone who can provide me ANY info at all!!
    ~Tyler
     
  2. skunkworker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #2
    Yes it is possible, but you would either need to become an authorized apple hardware developer and all of the NDA stuff or find what someone has done with the authentication chip and mod someone else's hardware (this is your best bet). But even then you wouldn't have the documentation on how to interface. So its not as easy as a lot of hackers/modders wish it was.
     
  3. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #3
    Dang. So to be clear, there is nothing in the 3.0 SDK for an Apple authorized Software Developer, only for Hardware developers?

    Is this true for two way communication, or would one way communication be possible? Really all I need to do is send information TO the iPhone.

    Does any of this change when you move to bluetooth, or does it still fall under hardware development?

    Thanks you so much for your time. You spelled out more clearly in a couple minutes what I couldn't put together in hours of research :)
     
  4. amorya macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #4
    It's true that there's no authorised way to do that over bluetooth or the dock connector, unless your company is part of the Works With iPhone programme.

    However, have you considered the headphone port? You should be able to read serial data coming in over that… see here for an example.

    Amorya
     
  5. bredell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #5
    You can use a WiFi serial adapter. The iPhone connects to the adapter using WiFi and the adapter converts the data into serial data.
     
  6. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #6
    No, I had not thought of that. I'll have to look into whether that is fast enough, and if my arduino bored can produce a frequency without extra hardware.

    I went searching SparkFun for such a thing, but I don't think I found it? I'm assuming it's a wifi card that attaches to an arduino by way of a serial connection? Sounds like it would take some pretty intimate arduino knowledge to get that set up correctly. Since an iPhone cannot "host" a network, I'd assume the Arduino would have to take care of all that setup.

    Right now I have my arduino bored set up to read in voltage signals and spit them back out through a USB port that mimicks a serial connection. With a few more lines of code on my Mac, I can read those values in and display them to screen. This is really about all I want to do with an iPhone in this project. Sounds like getting this to work is going to end up being 10x the work I had originally intended :(
     
  7. bredell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    #7
    A WiFi serial adapter is a small box that communicates with legacy serial devices using ordinary serial communication, the device you connect it to doesn't have to be modified in any way. Just google "wifi serial adapter" (without the quotes). Here's an example. They're hugely overpriced, though.
     
  8. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #8
    Wow, that is overpriced. It's nice to know such a thing exists though. Since this project is in the hobby category and for educational purchases, I think I'll try and avoid single $200 components ;)

    Thanks though!
     

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