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  • Project HiJack Makes Basic iPhone Peripherals More Affordable


    A team at the University of Michigan has been developing a project, titled "HiJack" to help make basic data peripherals for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad without hefty fees. By using the audio jack on the device to both power the sensor and transmit data, smaller manufacturers, research teams, or even individuals are able to develop fairly creative add-ons for devices.

    Very often, a significant part of the cost of designing an iOS data sensor comes from the right to use the familiar "Made for iPhone/iPad/iPad" logo on the sensor's box, and also allows the designer access to the 30-pin connector. Project HiJack is both a hardware a software platform that does not require the need for this labeling, because it does not use Apple's proprietary 30 pin connector.
    Ars Technica, writing about HiJack, states "the system uses the 22kHz audio signal, which is converted into 7.4mW of power." In other words, enough to power a variety of devices, and allowing these sensors to communicate with a specifically designed iOS application.

    We've already seen this power conversion used before, for instance in the Square sensor that allows an iOS device to be used as a point of sale and a credit card reader. HiJack's aspirations push this even further. The team states that sensors could be built for "as little as $2.34 in significant quantities."

    The project has allowed research groups to create a variety of data acquisition sensors already, including an EKG interface and a temperature/humidity sensor. The team also is intent on spreading this technology to the masses, by posting the schematics and source code to Google Code, and by announcing their intention to port the software to more platforms such as Android and WP7.

    If you've got a lazy Sunday planned and you've got some soldering skills, HiJack very well may be right up your alley. It will be very interesting to see what kind of sensors can be created to enhance the iOS and mobile device experience.

    Source:
    Ars Technica
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Project HiJack Makes Basic iPhone Peripherals More Affordable started by Matt Savoca View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. andrewb283's Avatar
      andrewb283 -
      Damn a credit card reader? Really?
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      Hmmmm?
    1. adrian1480's Avatar
      adrian1480 -
      Go blue.
    1. ZOMGVTEK's Avatar
      ZOMGVTEK -
      I assumed that iOS limited apps to 20kHz? All of the freq generators wont go above that, and Apple specs the iPhone as being 20-20K...

      Interesting workaround to the situation... If you can deal with 7.4mW.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      Come on Apple, you are getting more and more like MS all the time why aren't you putting a proprietary audio connector on the iphone? You could be cashing in there too.
    1. an82mustang's Avatar
      an82mustang -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      Come on Apple, you are getting more and more like MS all the time why aren't you putting a proprietary audio connector on the iphone? You could be cashing in there too.
      Don't give them anyy ideas.... pretty soon headphones will cost $100. for the iphone...
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      We'll get to see lots of cool add-ons because its making their development easier and cheaper. I wonder if the power output issue will be a factor though.
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      Your main post image is incorrect and technically this is pretty old. The Square app from the AppStore allows you to take payments anywhere and if you verify your account info they will send you a free reader that uses the headphone jack. I have had one for a few months

      The image at the top is not related to the recent project hiJack that has been in the news. The project is trying to just open up the technology to other developers.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      My brother has the Credit Card Reader, its pretty sweet.
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      Apple's going to be all over them with law suits...
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      If Apple's not making money off this I'm sure they'll find a way to sue, the bastrds.
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      I love Square. I always buy dinner to go for a group of friends and when some forget they don't have cash, I swipe their card.

      https://squareup.com/
    1. GreezyE's Avatar
      GreezyE -
      Could the HiJack be used for a camera?

      Just an idea, Facetime for iPad anyone?
    1. GreezyE's Avatar
      GreezyE -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRFP View Post
      I can see Apple claiming that this is a violation since it bypasses the security of the Iphone
      I can't see what security can be breached using this type of conenction, at the end of the day the device is only sending information to be interprited by an application the device itself cannot be used for any kind of exploit can it?
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Being an exploit of the hardware doesn't mean it's bypassing any security. These sensors emulate a microphone, but instead of sending regular audio through, it sends a specific signal encoded as audio, so the iPhone's hardware sees it as microphone input, but the software knows how to interpret it as a signal.
    1. GreezyE's Avatar
      GreezyE -
      Quote Originally Posted by n00neimp0rtant View Post
      Being an exploit of the hardware doesn't mean it's bypassing any security. These sensors emulate a microphone, but instead of sending regular audio through, it sends a specific signal encoded as audio, so the iPhone's hardware sees it as microphone input, but the software knows how to interpret it as a signal.

      You Read my mind, Kudos