Google Open Accessory Interface for USB Host Shield Library 2.0 released

ADK code

ADK code

Google Open Accessory Interface is now included in USB Host Shield Library 2.0 package. It follows standard structure of rev2.0 device driver (wherever possible) and because of this is slightly different from original Arduino code developed by Google. The interface itself is pretty simple and there are many articles on the net describing it in details; in this article I will give brief overview of new code and explain the differences.

To test the code I made a little “shield” resembling Google’s one. Since the only thing I cared about while testing was data transfer in both directions, I implemented just one LED and one button. The demokit_20.pde Arduino sketch works with DemoKit.apk Android application, however, only “B1” button and “LED 1 Red” are functional. To run the sketch, you will need an Arduino board, USB Host Shield, as well as USB Host Shield 2.0 library.

The ADK class contains all necessary functionality to communicate to Android phone via ADK interface. In order for USB subsystem to initialize the device when it is connected, the instantiation should look like the following code fragment. First, the USB class is instantiated, then ADK is instantiated taking address of USB instance as the first parameter. The rest of the parameters are ID strings for the phone – they are identical to the original code.

The initialization of Android device and switching it to accessory mode is performed automatically by USB subsystem. The ADK::Init() member function is called each time a new device is detected on a bus. It first tries to determine if a device is in accessory mode already by reading its VID, PID, and if yes, configures it and reports success to the system. If device fails accessory check, the standard probing and accessory switching method is performed. If successful, device resets and appears on USB bus as an “accessory mode-capable” unit. In certain cases, Init() may be executed two times.

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Building Google ADK hardware from standard components

Soon after Google ADK announcement it was discovered that $300 Arduino-based ADK hardware kit (out of stock at the time of this writing) is not really necessary; the same functionality can be achieved with standard Arduino board and USB Host Shield. Today, one of the developers sent me a link to GoogleADK – site, which explains how to build Google ADK hardware from standard components and use it.

The site shows how USB Host Shield looks like when all headers are soldered in place. It also has Get Started page which gives step-by-step instructions on installing necessary software components on Linux box. Word of caution – the link on this page points to the product page of old rev.1.xx shield, even though all pictures show the current rev.2.0 one.

At present, the site is pretty lean but it is a good start nevertheless. I will be monitoring it to see if any new content would come up. Arduino-Android tandem offers very interesting capabilities and I’m hoping to see many cool Android-based projects soon.