Connecting iOS to the Real World with Arduino

A session at OSCON 2011

Thursday 28th July, 2011

4:10pm to 4:50pm (PST)

Modern smart phone platforms, like Apple’s iPhone, come with a growing range of sensors; GPS, accelerometers, magnetometers and more recently gyroscopes. They also have a (near-)ubiquitous data connection, whether via a local wireless hotspot or via carrier data, and user positioning via multiple methods including GPS.

They would make an excellent hub for a distributed sensor network. However it is actually quite difficult to interface these otherwise interesting devices using standard serial devices. In the case of the iPhone the proprietary dock connector is a major stumbling block. During this session we will present several different methods which will allow you to connect any iOS device to an Ardunio, or in some case directly to an XBee mesh-network.

We will first discuss the official route, using the MFI approved Redpark serial cable, this makes use of Apple’s own External Accessory Framework. Whilst the most expensive route, it is also the simplest. However in addition to this we will go on to discuss using the headset interface to enable communication with external serial devices, this is a fairly well trodden route with several well known examples such as the Square credit card reader. Finally we will look at more off-the-wall routes such as repurposing the official MIDI interfaces, as well as the ANT+ protocol.

About the speakers

This person is speaking at this event.
Brian Jepson

Editor (MAKE books) for @OReillyMedia; @ProvidenceGeeks and @MakerFaireRI co-organizer. The reason you can't hold all those limes. bio from Twitter

This person is speaking at this event.
Alasdair Allan

Scientist, Author, Hacker and Tinkerer

Next session in Portland 251

5pm Pandaboard: A Stellar Open Platform by Bryan Smith

Coverage of this session

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Tell your friends!


Time 4:10pm4:50pm PST

Date Thu 28th July 2011


Portland 251, Oregon Convention Center

Short URL


View the schedule



Books by speaker

  • Make: Bluetooth: Mobile Phone, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi Projects with BLE
  • Distributed Network Data
  • Augmented Reality in iOS: Building Apps with Sensors and Computer Vision

See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session