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FEZ Mini Connection to iPhone


#1

I’m building an FEZ Mini application that needs to communicate with an iPhone and send data back and forth (not files but data streams). I know that the iPhone does not support the Bluetooth Serial Profile so I’m thinking that WiFi is my only other option. I’m not an iPhone expert so I’m not clear exactly how this WiFi connection should work.

Since the Mini doesn’t support the ZeroG WiFi Expansion board, is my only option then the WiFly GSX board? Has anybody done this? Would I need the WiFly to be a router for the iPhone to connect to, or would adhoc work? I’m pretty fuzzy about this setup so any suggestions as to how to send data back and forth to an iPhone would be most appreciated.


#2

In all this, I think your biggest problem is in the iphone, what application are you going to use or how are you going to program it and get it “okay-ed” by apple! Or are you going to use the web browser but how can you transfer data there?

What I have done before is use a free telnet client on iphone and then connect to fez. Then I can type command on the telnet program and FEZ, that has a telnet server, will see them and interpret them.

See this video. It uses FEZ Mini Robot and WiFi http://www.youtube.com/user/rgelb1#p/a/u/1/KMI4oVpQ6So


#3

See this too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtornTFcIfk


#4

The iPhone application will be custom written (not by me). It will connect to the Mini, send a byte stream, read a byte stream, and display the contents of the stream. I have it working with Bluetooth on an Android phone and now need to make a hardware/software version for the iPhone.

You’re right in that the challenge is understanding the capabilities of the iPhone and whether the Mini can support the type of WiFi connectivity the iPhone has available.

From reviewing other iPhone WiFi attached devices, it looks like they all act as a WiFi hotspot or access point that the iPhone attaches to. With this in mind, does the WiFly support being an access point from which I can send and receive data on the Mini?


#5

A FEZ Mini will connect to WiFi through a WiFi module, like you saw in the videos. Then the wifi module connects to the network (not to iphone)…then form the network, you can get the date from iphone, from windows phone, from a PC or anything that is connected to the network.

connecting directly between 2 devices directly (adhoc) can be done but usually not supported by most devices


#6

It looks like the iPhone can talk to other devices over a WiFi adhoc network. See this post. Scroll down to his article on the WiFi module. He’s using the WiFly wired into a GPS module and sending that data to his iPhone app. I think I’ll try to contact him to get more detail.

http://www.sparkfun.com/users/15288


#7

He said he connected from wifly module to iphone directly with no PC but he didn’t say it is an adhoc or there is an AP in between.

I just checked my iphone and I am not seeing any adhoc option. And google search confirms that there is no adhoc in iphone


#8

I think the WiFly needs to create the adhoc access point, then the iPhone connects to it. I see on the Roving Networks site that the RN-131 supports adhoc networking so I’m assuming that you can set up the WiFly to be an adhoc access point. He has a web page that shows a little more detail about his project - http://www.ayefon.com/geo/wifigps.cfm. When I setup an adhoc network on my PC, the iPhone does see it. I don’t have a WiFly module to test whether it can be setup for an adhoc access point. Can you try it?

He does mention adding code to his iGeoCatcher iPod (he meant iPhone) and iPad app to support this. You can see more info on his website I listed above.

BTW, how did the guy with the Mini Robot get his iPhone to control the robot over WiFi? It must be similar.


#9

I’ve had success using this method; http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/152 Needs an AP, and the WiFly (RN-131) shield used is limited on sockets.


#10

I got confirmation from Don Babcock over at eyefon.com that the Roving Network WiFly modules do work with the iPhone so I’m going to give it a go. I don’t have the budget yet to contract out the iPhone app but I can build a .Net version in the meantime.

BTW, Roving Networks also has Bluetooth modules specifically designed for the iPhone. They have entered into an agreement with Apple to build these but you have to go through licensing hassles with Apple to get approval. I’m investigating this option too.