i8

No more iPod Touch

After further consideration, I have made the decision to remove the iPod Touch from the ISHIZENO ONE, for a variety of reasons: first, the iOS platform is not open enough; second, I don’t want my design to be dependent on a product that might be discontinued at any time; third, several people have requested the option of being able to use the multi-touch user interface externally from the module; fourth, there is a better way.

My solution consists in letting people use whatever smartphone or tablet they already have, be it an iPhone, an iPad, or an Android device. Of course, that raises the issue of interconnection between the device and the module. The answer? An embedded Raspberry Pi used as web server. The Pi would be connected to the 8 Arduinos over USB, and to the external device over WiFi. It would serve the user interface as a set of web pages, using Node.js on the server and famo.us on the client. That way, it would be totally generic and would not require any device-specific customization.

I really like this solution, because I was getting a bit concerned by the complexity of developing an iOS application, which is something that I know nothing about. But if we move to a web-based solution, it’s a totally different story. For those who don’t know me very well, my day job is to build the STOIC platform, which is written in C++, Node.js, and AngularJS. Therefore, I don’t think I’ll have any problems with that part of the project.

Another benefit of this design is that it’s making the development of a 2-channel or 4-channel model a lot easier, since we’re not constrained by the size of the embedded iPod Touch anymore. We’ll still use the 8-channel configuration for our first model, but adding a 4-channel model afterwards should be a walk in the park.

This is getting quite exciting…

PS: Many thanks to François for his push in the right direction…

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