There’s much to be said about peripherals in the world of technology. A computer without peripherals (display, keyboard, mouse, etc.) no more than a fan in a box with lights that occasionally needs restarting. A BlackBerry 10 smartphone, on the other hand, is very useful as-is. However, the addition of peripherals opens the doors to many more possibilities.
Beginning in BlackBerry 10.2, the addition of peripheral discovery and USB APIs has made it possible to create applications to interact with your peripherals over USB serial port profile as the host. There are good hosts, bad hosts and those who cannot be a host. Lord Walder Frey is a bad host. BlackBerry 10 running on the right hardware makes an awesome host! BlackBerry OS 10.2 supports USB host mode, meaning it serves up the power to its guests and manages the bus (the ‘B’ in USB), so things like mice, keyboards and game controllers do not need their own power source; they receive enough power to function when connected to the device. Fewer batteries to worry about is always a good thing too.
This session is not just about standard plug-and-play peripherals though. You will learn how to create apps to communicate with just about any USB device using the serial port profile. Take a USB barcode scanner, signature pad and receipt printer, connect them all to BlackBerry 10, and you have a mini point of sale (POS) system! The entire system is created with standard hardware, no proprietary connectors needed. Oh, and the BlackBerry 10 OS can already handle the barcode scanning for you using the built-in camera.
You’ll also learn about how to take advantage of second-screen technology, both wired and wirelessly. Say you have a great game. You could output the gameplay portion to a big HD display through HDMI or wirelessly using MiraCast, and then you could use a wired or wireless game controller and use the display of the BlackBerry 10 device to display other information and actions such as character inventory. Keep the user totally immersed in your app experience by allowing and monopolizing on the extra peripherals and displays whenever available.
I don’t want to ruin all the fun, but this session is destined to be jam-packed with great demos and information to allow you to peripheralize both your and your users’ BlackBerry 10 with loads of great hardware!