iPad Camera Kit packs USB keyboard, headset support surprise?

4-25-10-ipadcamerakit600jerrodh

The iPad Camera Kit has started showing up in the wild and while its name indicates it's intended use as a way to import digital camera pictures and video into the iPad, it looks like there's some surprise support for USB keyboards and audio headsets along for the ride.

For those unfamiliar with the Camera Kit, it's two small dongles, one of which is an SD/SDHC card reader and the other is a straight-up USB port. It's the latter of the two that's creating the stir.

It sounds like not all UBS keyboards are supported, mind you, just the low-power ones which makes a certain amount of sense given the realities of a portable device. (Apple's own USB keyboard with mini mouse-hub of its own, for example, apparently need not apply).

While there's nothing in the settings to control it, USB headsets seem to be working for Skype calls as well. Frankly, we weren't expecting that but we certainly do welcome it.

Nothing else is working at this point, however. No game controls, external hard drivers, etc.

Now we just need it to work with the iPhone...

[TUAW, TidBITS via Engadget]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

Angelo says:

Now that's getting your money's worth!!!!
(somewhat)

macharborguy says:

Steve doesn't even have to say "one more thing" anymore, he just let's us discover it

Dimwit says:

That's what I meant when I said it's "Magical".
Sincerely,
Steve

Steve Woz says:

Sad thing is that we even have to plug this giant cube into our fancy new iPads... why the hell aren't these ports on the iPads already

Joe McG says:

Why is Apple so wierd? You'd think they would promote features for their products but they always seem to have functionality that they don't mention or acknowledge it even exists...

audicy says:

Why not for the iphone as well? and while we're at it, why are these ports not on the devices anyways?

Tim says:

......"it sounds like not all UBS keyboards are supported, mind you."
I'm thinking it's USB not UBS. :P

SheiknetChris says:

Why do I get a sneaky suspicion that an 'update' will crap that functionality out?

Kick Butt Applications says:

I'm waiting for the day when Apple presents something new and just opens the box and says "here you go!" No explanation needed, just let us play with it and figure it out.
Kick Butt

Samuel Layding says:

I think that GeoHot can come up with something to do with the USB unit. Perhaps we will finally be able to have plug-in controllers if it could work with jailbroken devices.

sM3e says:

Wait till jailbreakers get to play with this!
I'm thinking
XBox Game pads and a USB splitter! (Maybe even my Guitar Hero guitar!) Could make some awesome games using already existing tech
USB mass storage
Printers
Who knows if they can't get iPhoneOS to play ball I'm pretty certain once Android if ported to the 3GS there's some pretty awesome hardware to play with right there!

Samuel Layding says:

That's what I am thinking. Maybe there could be some sort of USB to VGA converter that could get worked into it (maybe over bluetooth?).

Pinny says:

Why should jailbreaking be required to access all the iProducts' capabilities? This is starting to get too Verizon-esque for comfort.

Malaytim says:

There is not enough power available for high power USB devices to work. You can't fix that with a jailbroken device. The power management chips would have to be removed from the iPad.
We have connected a USB barcode scanner - however the scanner that worked was self powered. The scanner that drew power from the USB port did not work.
This is why there is no general purpose USB port on the machine - you would all be complaining that your favorite USB device did not work, when it's all about power management.

Brian says:

malaytim
"We have connected a USB barcode scanner – however the scanner that worked was self powered.:"
what scanner did you use?

Rich MacDonald says:

Malaytim, I'd also like to know the USB barcode scanner that worked.
Thanks.

Mike says:

i too would like to know more about a scanner that has worked or will work for reading 2D