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HiJack Lets You Interface With The iPhone Through the Headphone Jack

Written by mike on January 28th, 2011

As computers progress, get smaller, become more powerful, the peripherals that we used to stack next to our desktop machines have begun to disappear. Modems, various types of disc drives, printers and scanners – all are now internalized with 3G connections, Library of Congress-sized storage, and camera/email/fax/e-reader capabilities.

The peripheral is now primarily a specialized piece of gear that records specific external signals – audio signals (for music recording), physiologic impulses (heart rate meters) and electronic signals. With devices like the iPhone having a single and unique port (and Apple having a costly licensing fee to use their connector), the development for new peripherals is handicapped.

And that’s why things like HiJack are so awesome. Utilizing the iPhone’s headphone jack, the 1-square inch connector is able to draw power from and interact with the iPhone. As of now, there are four devices built and programmed: a 3-cable EKG monitor, a soil moisture meter, a unit with temperature/humidity/motion and more sensors, and a breadboard for quick development of new devices.

What’s cooler is that the developers at the University of Michigan want you to get involved. From the HiJack site:

If you are interested in getting a HiJack board for your own project, then please send us a short (1 page) proposal of your project idea. The project requirements:

  • Phone and HiJack code must be made available under an Open Source license (BSD-style prefered).
  • We are allowed to link to your project from this website and/or include a picture of your project in the photo gallery.

We currently have 20 HiJacks available to give away. Depending on your project, we can also provide you with a programmer and a breakout board.

Please email your project proposal to hijack.project@gmail.com. in PDF format, and don’t forget to put your physical address and email on the top of your summary page.