Smart Connector - Keyboards. What else?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by andyw715, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. andyw715 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2013
    So it appears Apple has decided that Bluetooth keyboards take a back seat to Smart Connector enabled keyboards. But what else can the smart connector do?

    Can you charge the Pro from it? i.e stick it into a dock, charge it, and have secondary speakers?
    Obviously there is data transfer. What is the throughput? Can I create a music keyboard or some DJ equipment and set the Pro in it and interface with it?

    Can I feed it a video signal?
    How about creating a Mac OSX powered screen-less Keyboard computer that you plug in a Pro for the display. The best of both worlds: A full function OS X running Mac, or snap; a iPad Pro running iOS 9

    I can't wait.
  2. modernaccord macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2015
    Seattle, WA region
    I suspect it will be used to dock the iPad into a speaker station or video out for external display. Could be pretty cool.
  3. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    I doubt that the bandwidth of the Smart Connector will be sufficient for video in/output since there seems to be no direct contact of pins.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    I'm 99.9% sure we will see an iPad pro charge dock stand soon enough!
  5. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    All in one keyboard with storage and card reader. Maybe pencil charger as well. All depends on how powerful the connector is.
  6. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2009
    I'm no member of the MFi program, but, I would suspect the smart connector is capable of more than simply making a keyboard level connection. That said, Apple did publicly say power could go both ways, that implies the ability to charge through the thing. It's probably a serial connection, it could be a full USB connection or at least something on par with that.

    If that's the case, then, imagination's really the main limit here. Well, that and proximity. But the ideas about a synth keyboard that the iPad could settle into right where you might stick your sheet music and then MIDI up with it for apps that support that, that's pretty awesome. Even if audio can't flow through the port it might be able to initiate an automatic bluetooth or wifi pairing process for transferring data or interacting in other ways. That opens up a bunch of docking options, even cases where you might dock momentarily to sync a bunch of devices and then can remove and continue using those devices remotely? it could offer some conveniences.

    Maybe a company like Square can make PoS that connects entirely through the smart connector.

    Maybe someone can find leaked MFi specs for it, or someone is a member of that program, and could enlighten us about the tech specs. Until then, it's all speculation, but, don't assume because it's a proximity connection that it has no bandwidth to speak of. There are a number of technologies out there right now that do very short range wireless comms at extremely high bandwidths.
  7. TurboPGT! Suspended

    Sep 25, 2015
    I'm sure it is very low bandwidth and low power. Not going to see video put through it.
  8. Precursor macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2015
    Apple will release a keyboard/notebook with skylake processors without screen, but with thunderbolt 3 connectors, i5/i7 cpu, ssd etc. In everyone's amazement during the keynote, Cook will plug the IPP to it (magnetic) and voila, it will run full OS X when attached, iOS when detached. Crowd will go wild, media will go hysterical.
  9. modernaccord macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2015
    Seattle, WA region
    One can only dream...
  10. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    Honest question: What would be the point of this? You'd have a notebook that you can only use half the time because without the ipp it's a paperweight; an ipp you can only use half the time because it's busy being a display for a device that can't function without it; and when you do combine them into a notebook, in comparison to a normal MacBook it would be heavier with a top heavier screen. And all you'd gain is the space and weight saved by getting rid of the MacBook screen, which is almost nothing at all. You still have two devices, almost the same total weight, only now the devices have more limited usability. Why would this be worth it?

    Passing video to the ipp to extend your Mac/MacBook display, however, would have been a very useful function in my opinion, because it would have added function on top, making it optional. It would have been especially useful if it included Apple pencil support. That's what I really hoped for. I know the third party solution Duet Display can achieve extended display, but dd doesn't support the pencil, and since it is essentially a workaround, it has lag/bug issues that I can't tolerate for work--not to mention it isn't compatible with my mbp model unless you turn off retina. Astropad has pencil support but it only mirrors the Mac, not extends, and it too has the third party workaround woes.

    But I doubt the smart connector can transmit video, so those apps may be the only options for some time. Just saying it would have been great. It might have also been useful to have video output FROM the ipp. Here's hoping Apple will beef up the smart connector to handle video in a future iteration of the ipp.

    In the meantime I too am curious to see what innovations will come that make use of the current smart connector. Off the top of my head, I could see a one handed keypad peripheral for artists to use keyboard shortcuts, and various music input peripherals.
  11. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Please no.
  12. LunaC macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    I'm surprised Duet doesn't already have Astropad capability but hopefully once the USB3 mode is turned on (if), the lag will go. It does well as is with video as is, rather nice actually. Turns the rMBP13 into a portable dual screen dev machine.

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