I am looking for cheap way to have very basic wireless communication between an Arduino and a iphone. I don't need to send complex data, it would be sufficient to "trigger" the arduino: let's say it is reading a certain pin voltage and waiting for it to be up in order to do stuff, my goal is to trigger this pin up by any (wireless and iphone friendly) mean.

I have figured out two solutions: wi-fi shield, cheap RF transceiver. The problem with the latter is that it is not trivial to communicate with a RF transceiver from an iphone. I should add another arduino controlling an RF transceiver on the iphone side and commanding this arduino with an usb.

The wi-fi shield on the other hand is too expensive. Even small routers such as the wr703n (30 euro more or less) is too expensive in my opinion. I just want to send a "bit" of information, so I don't want to spend more than 10 euro.

The third option would be to hack some cheap wi-fi controlled tool, such a lamp or plug: do you know any? Do you have any other idea?


  • Does the triggering involve user interaction, eg. pushing a button on the iphone. Or should it be done completely automatic when the phone comes "near" the Arduino?
    – Sourcery
    Oct 13, 2014 at 13:10
  • Button on the iphone Oct 13, 2014 at 16:36
  • If you are going to need human interaction (button) Then I suggest you get a wifi router with a few ethernet ports in it (if you dont have one already... most homes have one nowadays). And then you connect the arduino via ethernet (ethershield (quite cheap) or ENC28J60 (very cheap) or etherten or other). That way you can connect to your arduino from your iphone.
    – Sourcery
    Oct 14, 2014 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


WiFi you either need a WiFi router or for either the iPhone or Arduino to create a network.

RF transceiver you need external circuitry.

The common way to do this at the moment is using Bluetooth Low Energy. Using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) shield you can directly connect the Arduino to a modern iPhone or Android phone (supporting Bluetooth 4.0).

Check out redbearlabs, who have a range of shields and BLE-enabled Arduino clones. There are example sketches and iOS apps on the net. I have made a BLE controlled RGB light using the redbearlabs BlendMicro and example OSX application.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.