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Thursday, September 08, 2011

iPhone app controls iOS monster truck - video

iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices replace controller to make iOS monster truck dance

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

This one is a bit of fun for September but hints at the demise of the radio controlled handset, instead using freely available iOS devices to give more control, either using the gyroscope or the touch panel and so adding to the capabilities of embedded devices without adding cost. This follows on from the Parrot iPhone-phone controlled helicopter last year. 
Dexim (www.dexim.net) in Ontario has developed AppSpeed, a motion-control iOS application for it's new radio-controlled (RC) vehicles. The first AppSpeed vehicle in the product range, the AppSpeed Monster Truck, is compatible with all iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch models and is controlled wirelessly from a corresponding free application.
Using the free iTunes download, the AppSpeed Monster Truck can be controlled through multiple functions. The traditional touch sensor mode controls the truck from the Apple devices’ touch screen, while the gravity sensor allows the user to direct the Monster Truck by simply gyrating their device, taking advantage of the built-in accelerometer. Each function gives complete, 360 degree control over the truck’s movement and speed for up to 50 feet (15 meters) whether indoors or out. 
The AppSpeed also adds capabilities: it has three pre-set modes that allow the user to automatically zigzag, spin or dance their vehicle to music.
“The AppSpeed Monster Truck shows Dexim’s commitment to fun and accessible technology,” said Laconia Cheng, Managing Director of Dexim. “This is just the first of many exciting products that will use the AppSpeed to blend functional design and entertainment value.”
Initially available in black and red, the AppSpeed Monster Truck includes a custom-built radio frequency (RF) transmitter and a quick-charging battery pack (batteries sold separately). A USB charging cable is also provided to allow for convenient recharging via USB or wall outlet at home or on-the-go. Looking ahead, Dexim will expand the AppSpeed-controlled vehicle line to sport and race cars, as well as other vehicles and devices.
Available at www.dexim.net and www.amazon.com, with future availability at Best Buy in the US this autumn, the AppSpeed Monster Truck retails for $69.99, with corresponding app available for free from iTunes.
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