While MacWorld is nowhere near the powerhouse it used to be when Apple used this show to unveil the original iPhone years ago, there are still a few cool things to be found at the show like the SkySafari iPad app which lets you use your iOS device to control a telescope.
The SkySafari iPad app can stop the jealousy of iOS owners over Google Sky Maps because it offers rich details about stars and thousands of objects in space. It includes pinch-to-zoom capabilities and has a wealth of information about nearly everything known in the skies.
The SkySafari iPad app also has a very pleasing user interface, as it’s quick and easy to find a specific object and get information about it. You can even replay events like the recent lunar eclipse.
The “crown jewel” of the SkySafari iPad app is the ability to control a full-blown telescope with the Apple tablet using a dock connector cable. We’ve seen other companies take advantage of the dock connector but nothing has really blown us away until now.
With the docking cable attached to a telescope, you can use the SkySafari iPad app to control the movements and zooming capabilities of the telescope. Even better, you can search for a specific object like Jupiter and have the telescope automatically point to it.
While getting the whole thing set up can be somewhat expensive, the SkySafari iPad app lite version will be free during MacWorld 2011, so amateur astronomers can dive in without having to plunk down major cash. If you’ve already invested in a high-end telescope, then the $50 or so dollars for the docking cable and the pro version of the app seem well worth it.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.