Sounds a good idea but in some situations could prove as unreliable as infra red.
I use airplay from a mac mini to devices around the house.
But to try and save some money on one occasion I resorted to blue tooth connection. I found that every time I walked between the transmitter and the receiver I disrupted the connection. So it was quickly replaced.
I agree on this. Both these wireless networking technologies can be sketchy. However, I believe there are some fundamental issues at play:
1st - the iOS is well-supported by Apple and thousands of developers, so there is some hope that the model railway world can see more rapid improvement in the future. We are still saddled with various incompatible technologies left over from the 1980s and before, including dc, dcc, which are command-driven dinosaurs that are very clumsy to use. They are not much better than a Timex watch with its buttons to set time, date, and other functions. iOS allows programmers to do things that would make life much simpler for railway modellers, including more intuitive touch screen operations that do not have such steep learning curves.
2nd - cost is always a factor. I worry about this a good deal, with my latest example being these awful TTS sound locomotives that lose a great deal of realism in the name of price. How many new full dcc sound locomotives are on Hornby's web site now? Bluetooth could become dominant just because its likely cost is low. So, the question is then whether or not many of the advantages to which we have become accustomed with dcc control will be transferred painlessly to the Bachmann approach.
3rd - some direct computer control, such has Hornby's and other systems, show great promise for intuitive control of layouts. It seems to me that Bluetooth could simply be an addendum to such systems, and the intuitive control of touch screens retained, and dcc in the locomotives.
4th - I am just not sure about swapping dcc and bluetooth boards and all the on-board loco implications, of which there seem to be many. I don't know enough about it to state with any confidence what is possible and what is not on the loco. My only concern is intuitive and detailed control of layouts and locomotives.
5th - This is price related again: Many of us, including me, have investments in dcc, as well as dc locos that need converting. I am concerned that while I like the thought of iOS control technology, that either my locos will be obsoleted to use it, or I will be confined to the command-driven mayhem of dcc in order to take advantage of what I have already bought. As with the Hornby TTS sound example, there is a danger that dc and dcc will be driven out of the market on the alter of Bluetooth/iOS price advantages. and dcc will not be viable anymore, through lack of further development.
I think the phrase "replacement of the DCC board" might be misleading - surely for any non-DCC loco all you'd do is plug in a bluetooth receiver instead of a DCC chip into the 8 pin socket, you wouldn't need to remove or replace anything (provided the bluetooth board fits in the loco physically).
If you have loco's already with DCC sound obviously you would have to take that out - but then I don't think a system like this is really aimed at making folk who are already heavy DCC users change to something different.
I agree that an investment in dcc is a big energy barrier to iOS technology. Exactly what can be done to alleviate this is a mystery to me at the moment, beyond idle speculation. Clearly, we would want all the advantages of dcc technology fused with all the advantages of iOS technology.
Not clear to me at all. We don't all worship the Great God of Apple, and I cannot get along with touch-screen technology of any sort. Just as I don't want an all-in-one tv remote control, so my Digitrax DT402 suits me fine, thanks, because I know what the controls do. DCC does pretty much what I want, and using my smartphone to control a train would be a nightmare.
It is inevitable that digital technology attracts people who enjoy exploiting technology for its own sake, and if they push the boundaries, that's fine. Just do not extrapolate that tendency to represent the entire DCC community.
When photography was first available as a commercial reality, people said painting was dead. Yeah, right.
I am really sorry to have to disagree with all these statements, particularly the last one. When was the last time you took your family for a "painted" family portrait?
The "God of Apple" has brought us out of the difficult to use command-driven PC world of the 1980s into our present world that is so intuitively connected that the vast majority of the population uses it. The reason for this is that touch screen technology in conjunction with iOS is ..... easy to use....
"technology for its own sake" certainly applies to a few people most of the time, but not to all people all the time (to misuse a famous quote). If something is used by many people, you can bet it has real utility. Touch screen technology and iOs is one of these technologies that has made it across many walks of life, and we should have it in railway modelling too.
Edited by rgmichel, 30 January 2015 - 17:21 .