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Thread: Remote touchscreen control of iPhone via serial port - Need hardware help!

  1. #11
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    BugByte, check out my post on the other thread. Essentially, I propose exactly as you do. I might suggest a GumStix, as it's smaller and really designed for this work. http://www.gumstix.com/ is the site and they have a number of these small computers. some with built in wifi, and complete power specs.

    huh, i hadn't seen it before, but they even have an output for a small touchscreen. I think I see my project forming very quickly.

  2. #12
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    The other thing about bluetooth is that you get one at a time... so, if you are sending video, you are going to lose hands free.

  3. #13
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    raleel

    Thanks for the GumStix link! Sounds like we could really have something going!

    The other thing about bluetooth is that you get one at a time... so, if you are sending video, you are going to lose hands free.
    I'm a bit confused about this statement. What I was proposing was sending video from the iPhone through the Apple AV cable, then receiving input through BlueTooth from the touch screen.

    When I have more time I'll take a look at those GumStix. I'm getting excited for my project!

  4. #14
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    raleel

    Looked some more at the gumstix. I'm liking what I see. I'm still convinced that having a linux system isn't necessary for this for a few reasons. 1) Bluetooth for sending input signals to the iPhone. 2) the iPhone is equipped with USB, Firewire, Audio and Video through the dock connector 3) iPhone is equipped with a serial port through the dock connector.

    However, taking advantage of all of these would take some serious software hacks if bluetooth input fails. Those gumstix seem like they would be a great way to get a linux system in the mix. Seems like you know a hell of a lot more about linux than most people. I ran a few versions of linux.. oh.. about 7 years ago then switched over to mac os so I'm a bit dumb when it comes to these small linux systems.

    The 4.3" screen they advert on the gumstix site wouldn't be much bigger than an iPhone, I'm thinking more on the lines of 7-10".

    Here are my new concerns though if we used a small linux system... As you suggested on the other thread, using ODBII for bootup/shutdown. I'm concerned with boot/kill times. These times might have to be quicker than ODBII boot/kill times. Many years ago when I was running some of the very early versions of linux, kill switches and commands would literally kill the system and in lots of cases I would have to do some serious repair work or just a clean install because stuff would get screwed up so bad. My other concern would be that is 600mhz (the processor speed of a gumstix) a fast enough processor speed to process streaming video? What about the lag of VNC over wireless for video vs. hardwired audio? The other things I have concerns with are just due to my lack of programming skills... getting linux to boot up with no GUI (not a problem) but somehow making it establish an adhoc, VNC, and UI for VNC using a program like screensplitr

    Geez... all this sounds like I might as well put a mac mini in the car if we're going this way... Maybe I could strip down OSX and put in on the gumstix...

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    raleel

    Looked some more at the gumstix. I'm liking what I see. I'm still convinced that having a linux system isn't necessary for this for a few reasons. 1) Bluetooth for sending input signals to the iPhone. 2) the iPhone is equipped with USB, Firewire, Audio and Video through the dock connector 3) iPhone is equipped with a serial port through the dock connector.
    1) If you use bluetooth, you lose it for other things. That is to say, if you are listening to the stereo over the forthcoming A2DP, you won't be able to use it to transmit the touch signals. Same with anything else... like you won't be able to answer the phone while touching the screen if you are using handsfree. Thus, use wifi. This is the same problem that the devtoaster guys who made Rev ran into. They chose wifi to keep the hands free available.

    I agree that you have all of those there. You probably need an app to read the screen position of your fingers. That would go on the iphone and listen to one of the ports and translate that to the local interface. I would probably use firewire though, because it's not really being used for anything (music is over usb, mp3 tags are over serial).

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    However, taking advantage of all of these would take some serious software hacks if bluetooth input fails. Those gumstix seem like they would be a great way to get a linux system in the mix. Seems like you know a hell of a lot more about linux than most people. I ran a few versions of linux.. oh.. about 7 years ago then switched over to mac os so I'm a bit dumb when it comes to these small linux systems.
    Linux admin for 10 years. Embedded systems too. Did a wifi sniffing network using something similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    The 4.3" screen they advert on the gumstix site wouldn't be much bigger than an iPhone, I'm thinking more on the lines of 7-10".
    sadly, this is true. It's small. It's a little bigger than the iphone display, and slightly smaller than the iphone itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    Here are my new concerns though if we used a small linux system... As you suggested on the other thread, using ODBII for bootup/shutdown. I'm concerned with boot/kill times. These times might have to be quicker than ODBII boot/kill times. Many years ago when I was running some of the very early versions of linux, kill switches and commands would literally kill the system and in lots of cases I would have to do some serious repair work or just a clean install because stuff would get screwed up so bad.
    this would not be an issue, as it would load the entire thing into ram and anything you have on disk would actually be read only. This is how they do it on those little routers many folks have in their houses.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    My other concern would be that is 600mhz (the processor speed of a gumstix) a fast enough processor speed to process streaming video?
    on this end, yes on the server side, it can be dicier

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    What about the lag of VNC over wireless for video vs. hardwired audio?
    should be next to none for audio. Video, as I note in the other thread, is actually sorta sucky at points. For some things it's good, but if you have an actively refreshing display, it can go down hill. Like, you are not going to want to watch a movie on it. Or a rapidly refreshing graph. However, for maps and music, it's actually just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    The other things I have concerns with are just due to my lack of programming skills... getting linux to boot up with no GUI (not a problem) but somehow making it establish an adhoc, VNC, and UI for VNC using a program like screensplitr
    nod, that's a problem. I'm trying to talk myself into the $500 to make this all go ($160 for a wifi dongle, $220 for the gumstix, $60 for the expansion, $50 for Rev, and a power supply)

    Quote Originally Posted by hyperclimber View Post
    Geez... all this sounds like I might as well put a mac mini in the car if we're going this way... Maybe I could strip down OSX and put in on the gumstix...
    hah, not likely, but an appletv can take OS X.

  6. #16
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    I think I'll recede on the BT. But I have no use for A2DP, but HID would be nice...

    I did a little searching about the samsung small touchscreen they've got adverted on the gumstix site. Samsung does make larger screens with very similar specs, maybe we could talk to the gumstix people and see if they're controller would work with some of these other samsung screens.

    I read your other post on the video lag issue. I guess that was a concern for me in the beginning and why I was thinking of going the hardwired route. I think this could be the make it or break it of the project. For maps and music we really don't need a lot of video power, but if I was going to put in a nice monitor in the car, I would want to watch movies especially since I do a lot of long distance driving. (please no comments on the dangers of driving while watching movies... there isn't anything else to do across the states of north dakota, south dakota, montana, nebraska, most of colorado, most of utah, nevada, etc. put it on cruise, put it on auto pilot and turn on the tv)

    I just had a thought, do we need to use a full VNC connection? Maybe we could 'fool' the iphone to not sending video but everything else, then use the apple av cable to port video. Or something like that.

    I would like to help out in any way that I think I can.

  7. #17
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    Had some new thoughts while looking around for a few days. Would it be possible to have a usb or firewire controller for the iphone? In looking around I found a touchscreen with usb input. Thinking that you could use the apple av cable to then send video and receive input as it has usb I was completely turned off by the fact that the apple av cable's usb is for 'power only'. Making a custom cable wouldn't be very hard. But if we somehow gave the iphone the driver for the usb touchscreen and sent signals to the screen, could we get this to work? I'll do some more looking and see what I come up with.

    Any luck with the linux route so far?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by raleel View Post
    BugByte, check out my post on the other thread. Essentially, I propose exactly as you do. I might suggest a GumStix, as it's smaller and really designed for this work. http://www.gumstix.com/ is the site and they have a number of these small computers. some with built in wifi, and complete power specs.

    huh, i hadn't seen it before, but they even have an output for a small touchscreen. I think I see my project forming very quickly.
    They look okay, although a little expensive. The Sheeva is $99 and I have an old wireless router laying around.

    Still, it doesn't really matter what you use. I'm more interested in trying to get the solution to work. It can always be refined later.

    Anyhow, the Sheeva should be here any day. I'll let you know when it arrives. Hopefully, we can collaborate on the solution.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #19
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    Iphone on large touch screen- Check this video on YouTube

    Guys we all are on the same ship, just that I am not that techy as you all are. I wanted to extend my Iphone screen on a larger touch screen, and then I happened to read your threads.
    Check this video that is recently added on youtube, I am sure you will be happy to see the video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GewD78F-5o

  10. #20
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    looks pretty cool! but the problem is that it appears to be running native. who knows, maybe this could be the ticket to all our problems... but just thinking about what I want (as so it seems you have a similar idea lalypaly) that I want to plug my iphone into the 30pin connector and then not have to use the iphone in the car but have this external monitor take control over the iphone. if you notice in the youtube video, they don't have an iphone in sight, they are just running the iphone OS on the computer. what we want to be able to do is use the iphone as the computer and port out video to an external source as well as use the touch features from the external source to control the computer. while this seems easy when we are so accustomed to plugging in a keyboard and a monitor to a computer, it is rather complicated because the iphone was not designed for this.

    that said, i just had an idea... the problem with the VNC video lag was processor speed, right? i haven't looked at the 3gS in detail quite yet, and i plan on getting one in the near future. if, perhaps, the 3gS could process fast enough, the video lag could greatly be reduced. thereby we would only need to have a simple linux box with an adhoc like bugbyte's been talking about and video (which was my concern) wouldn't be so bad.

    bugbyte, have you had time to play around with stuff yet?

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