Redpark Product Development on Tuesday announced that its first serial cables for iOS devices are now shipping. The cables bear the official “Made for iPod” designation from Apple, meaning you won't need to jailbreak your device to use the cables. (Many previous serial-cable solutions have required users to jailbreak their iOS devices.)
The dock-connector-based serial cables are used to connect an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to serial-port devices such as point of sale units, scientific or industrial equipment, and home automation tools.
To qualify for the Made for iPod program, Redpark is required to sell specific cables engineered for specific purposes. Redpark president Mike Ridenhour said, in the company's press release, “We will need to work in conjunction with each app developer to get their app working with a cable and to complete the necessary approval processes.” The first cable available is the Southern Stars SkyWire, which—when used in tandem with the SkySafari app—turns your iOS device into a telescope controller.