Another new iPhone.

I think I finally finished the last of the preliminary development coding. The main issue standing in my way was trying to figure out a way to debug the project while testing. Occipital’s Structure sensor occupies the Lightning Port when attached to the iPhone. This is a problem for development because XCode needs to be connected to the iDevice via the Lightning port in order to debug. Fortunately, Occipital realized this and added a class STWirelessLog, which rebroadcasts debug messages over the IP Wireless. One just needs to run ‘netcat’ on a nearby machine to receive the messages. The problem for me, is that the way STWirelessLog is written requires a hardcoded IP address to receive the message. Since I am moving around on campus that means my IP address is always changing. So I added some helper functions to be able to modify the receiving netcat receiver machine on the fly.

Similarly, another problem related to the Lightning port had to do with Apple’s announcement of their new iPhone this week. The biggest news about the new iPhone was probably the fact they are removing the headphone port. So now if you want to listen to music with head phones on future iPhones, you either have to use a Lightning based pair of wired headphones, or wireless headphones. This could be problematic for future proofing my project. Since I need one Lightning port for the Structure Sensor, I am immediately short a port for the audio needs. Belkin has announce they are releasing an adapter called “Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar™”, which initially seems like a Lightning port doubler. However, it remains to be seen if it actually works that way since it is advertised as a way to listen to music through one port while the device charges through the other. If it does not allow for using two Lightning devices at the same time, then I am left with using wireless headphones. I am skeptical about this approach. The reason is that most wireless headphones use some form of audio compression to pass music from the device to the headphone to save bandwidth. Bluetooth headphones I have listened to in the past, I was not impressed with the quality. Since, audio is such a critical aspect of this project and people need to discern even the slightest of frequencies. I am worried that using Bluetooth headphones will degrade too much audio information.

Fortunately, I am safe for the moment since my current development platform is the iPhone 6 and it still has a traditional headphone jack. However, I probably should keep these issues in mind if I plan to do anything with this project after this semester.

About ForeverTangent
Currently a Masters of Computer Science Student at the University of Kentucky. Previous Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon. Before that Graduated from Berklee College of Music. I have worked for Public Radio and the Video Games industry. Most of my interests now are UI and Accessibility Issues for Technology.

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