Thursday, August 16, 2012

iOS Sensors and External Hardware Masterclass

I'm going to be down in London for O'Reilly's Strata conference in October, key-noting on the Tuesday morning, talking about the hidden data that follows us around and how I've leveraged that for my own advantage. I'll also be talking, along with my colleague Zena Wood from Exeter, about People Watching with Machine Learning and using modern smart phones, like the iPhone, to do interesting sociology. It should be good.

However I'll be kicking around town for most of the following week afterwards, talking to various people. But I had a gap, a big gap, at the beginning of that week. So I've decided to try and interesting experiment...

I've often argued that both the increasingly rich sensor suite and the ability to easily connect today's smart phones to external hardware, and sensors, make them an amazing lever on the world. It's something I've focused on a lot over the last year or so.

A conversation with Dale Dougherty and Alasdair Allan

While I've run a lot of conferences and workshops over the years, it's always been on someone else's dime. Time to put my money where my mouth is, I'm going to run a workshop.

In fact I'm going to run a master-class on iOS Sensors and External Hardware. This is going to be hardware hacking for iOS programmers. It's going to be hands on, bring your Mac, bring your iPhone and make sure you've got Xcode set up so that you can deploy apps onto your device. It'll be a small group, no more than twenty, and I'll be doing a bunch of live coding.

We'll start the day talking about the internal sensors: the accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope and how to combine these into sophisticated applications. Here you'll really get the benefit of my physics background, because I can take you under the user friendly skin Apple have put on top of these sensors as part of the iOS SDK and hopefully give you a decent idea of what their limitations are and how they work.

Then we'll move on to talk about how to extend the reach of the on-board sensors by connecting your iPhone to external hardware. We'll look at how to connect the Arduino micro-controller platform to your iOS device, and build simple applications to control the board and gather measurements from sensors connected to it, directly from iOS. This course will give you the background to build your own applications independently, using the hottest location-aware technology yet for any mobile platform.

iPad controlling an Arduino board via the Redpark cable
You'll take away with you an Arduino Uno board, a Redpark TTL Serial Cable for iOS, and everything you need to connect your iPhone to your new micro-controller. You'll also receive a copy of my books Basic Sensors in iOS and iOS Sensor Apps with Arduino.

The workshop will be on Monday the 8th of October at the Hoxton Hotel right next to London's Silicon Roundabout. I've opened registration and I'm offering 30% off the ticket price until the 1st of September. Sign up early, and sign up often.

More about exactly what I'm going to be talking about on the workshop's own website. I've done similar things on smaller scales in the past, but this should be a lot of fun. Hope to see at least some of you there...

Monday 8th October 2012
Hoxton Hotel, London
Early Bird Price: £499 (until 1st Sept.)
Normal Price: £699