iDevices are getting used in innumerable ways these days. Some years back you may recall my examination of the Mocet Communicator, an iPad accessory that turned it into an executive desk phone. Behringer’s X AIR XR18 is an audio mixer with iDevice remote control. The Cerevo LiveWedge is a video production switcher with an iPad-centric control scheme. These are just a few examples of iDevices assuming a key role in the control scheme of a more sophisticated device.
What the Mocet device highlighted is that dependence upon Wi-Fi is not always an optimal solution for connectivity. It provides Ethernet connectivity and could be powered using standard 802.11af power-over-Ethernet.
Recently, Redpark introduced a power-over-Ethernet capable Gigabit Ethernet adapter for the iPad. For just $99 this device provides both continuous power and reliable connectivity via the same length of Ethernet cable.
While supporting 10/100/1000 Mb Ethernet networks, the USB subsystem of the Lightning port delivers 225 Mbps. The interface is 802.11af compliant, capable of drawing up to 15.4 watts from the network line to keep the iDevice charged.
A single solution to providing reliable power and connectivity strikes me as massively appealing. I can see this as useful in any situation where an iDevice is in a dedicated application.
P.S. – I’ve also found Google’s combination AC adapter and Ethernet interface for first generation Chromecast to be profoundly useful. It makes the Chromecast dramatically more reliable. The newer Chromecast Ultra includes this optional power supply.