Scott – @scottm32768 on twitter – posted a link about this nifty piece of software called DisplayLink. It caught my attention very quick as he said it makes your iPad into a display for your Windows 7 PC. This is something I have been looking for for quite some time. I have seen some of the people at my work do this with their Apple computers using either the DisplayLink software or another vendor’s I believe.
So why am I doing a post on it, well to help get the word out, that is why! The DisplayLink application definitely helps to free up the real-estate on your computer as you can toss your Twitter application to it, your e-mail, perhaps a terminal application, or anything else you want to keep an eye on. This additional real estate on our computers is wonderful!
From their website, they say that the key features are:
- Creates an interactive, secondary wireless display for your PC with the iPad
- Windows 7, Vista (32 and 64bit) and XP (32bit) compatible
- Configuration using the familiar Windows graphics display utility
- Discovers and connects the iPad screen to your PC over your wireless network quickly and reliably
- Operates seamlessly with other DisplayLink multi-monitor and dock products to create a rich, productive multi-monitor environment
Being the curious person that I am, I did a quick packet capture when I launched the application. From what I can tell it is using SSDP multicast (126.96.36.199) for a UPnP discovery of the iPad. Below is an exert of the Wireshark capture so you can see some of the communication. My PC is .11 and the iPad is .111.
So, what do you need in order to get this to work? 4 things in total – Windows 7 PC, iPad, iPad software, and the DisplayLink driver for the computer. More then likely most of us out there may have these already!
To get the iTunes software, you can click here:
And to get the software, you can visit their page at www.displaylink.com here.
Once the software is installed it automagically runs on the Windows 7 pc in the taskbar. The icon could be a little better as it looks like a Network connection, but this is a picture of what it looks like:
From there you can easily change the password, check for updates, optimize video, launch the display panel, and a few other things. When you first run the application you will need to configure a password, great security feature!
Once you have the iPad application installed, launch the application…
and you will be presented with this screen. From there, select the computer you want to connect to…
..and enter the password when prompted:
After that, it is connected!
You can then configure (via Display Control Panel) where you want this to fit in the scheme of the monitors. As you can see from mine, I have it set under my main display in the middle. Right in front of my keyboard basically.
When you disconnect, since it is Windows controlling the display, all your stuff is reverted back to the way it was. Its great!
This is some cool software! I am very impressed so far!