We manufacture and sell an industrial product (not consumer-grade) that is currently being controlled using a traditional keypad and display. We'd like to replace this with an iPod Touch (smaller systems) and/or iPad (larger systems).
The iPod would act as an embedded controller to our product. It would likely be connected (via serial interface) to an internal control board by something like Redpark's serial cable.
Is this possible?
There seem to be a fair amount of hurdles to this:
- Activation - Each device needs to be activated with an iTunes account (and credit card?)
- Power - The Redpark cable only supplies signal, not power to the device
- App Deployment - Ideally, our custom app would be pre-loaded on the iDevice so our customers can be up and running with our product out of the box. However, it seems you cannot publish an app to the App Store that uses the 30-pin accessory port. "Enterprise deployment" is out of the question as it's limited to 100 installations.
Has anyone successfully used an iOS device as a front-end interface for their product?