Back in the 1970s before the advent of personal computers, I was a model rocket geek. Using thin tubing, balsa wood, plastic, glue and toxic paints to build lightweight rockets that could soar thousands of feet into the air, I never thought that some day people would be able to actually launch small data-collection computers into the air. Now the folks at Byte Works -- the developers of techBASIC for iOS (US$14.99) -- have done just that, using an iPhone 4s and a custom-designed model rocket.
This was more than just flying an iPhone on a rocket, though -- Mike and Patty Westerfield, the proprietors of Byte Works, used a TI Bluetooth Low Energy Sensor Tag (officially announced today) to capture acceleration and gyro information and send it to a techBASIC program running on the iPhone 4s. Immediately after flight, the information was available for viewing in the techBASIC app.
Should you decide that launching your brand new iPhone 5 is in your future, Byte Works has a full writeup of the project here. The iPhone launcher (AKA ST-2) is now on its way to Norway to be exhibited by TI at a conference, but it sounds like the Westerfields have plenty of plans for ST-2 flights with higher powered engines in the future. Enjoy the launch video below!