iPad Pro Smart Connector Possibilities

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
I'm starting to wonder what sort of peripherals might be possible with the smart connector on the iPad Pro.

First one that I can think of is a snap on media hub, like a bar with slots for the various size SD cards.

Perhaps Apple will release a first party Smart expansion set up. A thin bar that wouldn't interfere with the keyboard but allow for more local storage.

Maybe a battery pack?
Apple Pencil recharge + storage?

What else do you think could be a possibility?
 

Undo

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2010
42
2
Florida
A lot will depend on the power and data transfer specs of the connector I think. But a keyboard alternative that includes a trackpad and has a greater range of tilt for both the iPad and the keyboard, plus Pencil storage, would be a great accessory in my opinion.

Also a "bridge" connector to allow attaching a second iPad Pro for a dual setup :p.
 
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powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,743
162
I'm wondering about any wear on the smart connectors if you use accessories? I'd prefer not to use the connector is wear is going to appear no those beautiful, round magnets. :)
 

engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
78
Greenville Tx
You might be expecting quite a bit for a three-contact connector. You can rock quite a bit of data across one wire these days, but I don't think it's for video or external mass storage. I'd love to be wrong, though.

I suspect that interface will not hold its secrets for long!
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,529
804
You might be expecting quite a bit for a three-contact connector. You can rock quite a bit of data across one wire these days, but I don't think it's for video or external mass storage. I'd love to be wrong, though.

I suspect that interface will not hold its secrets for long!
I'm not really holding my breath. I2C can barely push USB1 speeds these days, and it's the closest analogue to this connector. 2 pins (clock + data), no power.

Honestly, I'm impressed that they managed to get power + data into 3 pins, and am curious how they handle the clock or lack thereof. I almost wonder if they might be piggy-backing the clock onto the V+ pin in some way. But yeah, expecting this to be anything remotely fast is not happening. This connector is the slowest thing on the new iPad, and not by a small margin.
 

engineerben

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
140
78
Greenville Tx
I'm not really holding my breath. I2C can barely push USB1 speeds these days, and it's the closest analogue to this connector. 2 pins (clock + data), no power.

Honestly, I'm impressed that they managed to get power + data into 3 pins, and am curious how they handle the clock or lack thereof. I almost wonder if they might be piggy-backing the clock onto the V+ pin in some way. But yeah, expecting this to be anything remotely fast is not happening. This connector is the slowest thing on the new iPad, and not by a small margin.
Take a look at 1-wire interfaces. They transfer power, data and clock over one wire (plus ground, of course). Not especially fast, but faster than you might think.

That's why I'm curious about this: once the teardowns begin, we'll probably learn what kind of encoding they're using and the data rate. That will give some clues as to what they intend to do with it going forward.
 

Codeseven

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2008
787
310
I brought this subject up in awhile back.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/what-about-the-smart-connector.1916952/

Since there is allot known about the Lightning connector but very little known about the iPP's only other connector, the new Smart Connector. Other than at least one of it's uses will be for connecting to the keyboard case, there is allot about this new connector that we don't yet know, it's data flow capabilities and use intent for starters.
 
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