A Real Oscilloscope on an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone

09 April, 2011 09:01PM · 2 minute read

I did a double take when I first read about this device two days ago.  A little known company Oscium has released an attachment that works with all current iOS devices: iPad (2), iPod Touch and iPhone; that turns them into a multichannel oscilloscope.

As an Electrical Engineer who’s been bent over the screen of many a ‘scope over the years I’m giddy with excitement over a product like this. The asking price of just under $300 USD seems reasonable enough given that most DSOs (or a decent ScopeMeter) these days will set you back much more. Then again, once you factor in the price of an iPad (for example) and this magic box it’s not really a good comparison.

In any case it reminds me of a kit that Dick Smith Electronics made many years ago that I built (and blew up and then failed to fix - still - I think it’s in the shed somewhere) that ran DOS/Windows software and plugged into the parallel port. It’s a great idea for those who can’t justify a stand-alone bit of kit as a ‘scope and already have a PC for other things. The same arguement applies here.

It’s pretty amazing how far Apples iOS has come as a platform in such a short period of time. The DSO kit used interfaces that had been around for nearly 12 years (hardware) and 6 years (software) when it was released (some PCs/motherboards still have parallel ports even today) but after barely 2 years since iOS 3 was released with support for third-party hardware/software interfaces via the Dock Connector it’s amazing to see some of the tech being produced.