Hackers Add External IR Keyboard to iPhone Without Jailbreaking

Illustration for article titled Hackers Add External IR Keyboard to iPhone Without Jailbreaking

Even though it's still a bit more intensive than plugging in and typing, the tweakers at Perceptive Development have managed to get an external keyboard working via a custom connection built for the headphone jack.

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It's a progression of their previous project which added an RS232 serial modem interface to the iPhone's headphone jack—a dream of those who've spent most of their life huffing solder fumes. Serial interfaces can be mated to a world of electronics components cheaply and easily, and the headphone jack in/out hardware is one of the few interfaces that's open in the official SDK.

Here they've built a microcontroller that converts input from an external Targus IR keyboard into a format the iPhone's headphone jack can understand, which is then fed to a terminal app that doesn't require jailbreak. Pretty cool.

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[Perceptive Development via TUAW]

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DISCUSSION

tvattbjorn-old
Tvättbjörn

I had similar for my old Palm Pilot - a nice, folding keyboard with built-in dock adapter. The keyboard was a W-fold of a standard laptop keyboard and wasn't much bigger than the Pilot when folded.

If/when one of these comes out for the iPhone, I will preorder five of them.