Researchers at the University of Michigan have been working away at putting the 3.5mm audio port on the iPhone to many other uses other than playing music, including the ability to display EKG readings on the 3.5″ Retina Display. While this isn’t one of the first products we’ve seen that extends the functionality of an iPhone using the audio port, it certainly is one of the most interesting. The code for interfacing with the “HiJack” is free, open source and available under the BSD licensing scheme. The research team has advised that they will be reviewing project proposal ideas and providing 20 project-taskers with hardware in order to develop and continue research.
This project provides developers, DIY’ers and other researchers access to external hardware without going through the Dock Connector API and without jailbreaking the device, all for the extremely cheap (if done in large volumes) price of $2.34 for the hardware.