Connecting the iPad to the SOS Server via Bluetooth


In SOS version 4.3 we added the ability to connect an iPad to the SOS server over a bluetooth connection. Until this time all iPad/SOS server connections were over wifi. The iPad bluetooth connection replaced the Wii remotes in SOS version 5.0.


Sites with SOS version 4.1 or higher will have Bluetooth USB adapters installed with their systems. If you do not have Bluetooth USB adapters or have a version of SOS prior to 4.1, please contact SOS Support at


The iPad supports Bluetooth connections over a range of 10m so the SOS computers will need to be close to the sphere. The range may be reduced by walls, electromagnetic interference or other obstructions. 

In testing we have discovered that occasional re-pairing may be required. Fortunately, re-pairing the computer and iPad is trivial to do. (See: Re-pairing the iPad and the SOS computer)

Preparing the SOS Server

This will need to be done on both SOS computers.

  1. Make sure that the Bluetooth USB adapter is plugged in.
  2. Click on the left-most bluetooth icon in the menu bar along the top of the screen.
  3. In the drop-down that appears, select “Local Services”.

  4. In the “Local Services” window, select the “Network” option on the left. (See image after step 6)
  5. In the “Services” section, check the “Network Access Point” option. (See image after step 6)
  6. Modify the IP Address in the “NAP Settings” section. (Typically we delete and re-type the “1”) Once this is done, the Apply button will no longer be greyed out. Write down the IP Address in this field. You will need it later on the iPad. (See image below)

  7. Click “Apply”.
  8. Close the Local Services program.

Preparing the iPad

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “Wi-Fi” section and disable the wifi by moving the “Wi-Fi” slider to the left
  3. Select the “Bluetooth” section and enable Bluetooth by moving the slider to the right.

Creating a connection between an iPad and the SOS computer

  1. Click the Bluetooth menu bar icon.
  2. Select “Setup New Device”.

  3. In the window that appears, click “Next” until you get to the “Device” screen below. Select your iPad by clicking on it. Then click “Forward”.
  4. Note: If the iPad doesn’t appear in the “Device” screen, open the Settings app on the iPad and select the “Bluetooth” tab. Then, click on the search icon (magnifying glass) in the lower left corner of the “Device” screen.

  5. In the “Pairing” screen, select “Pair Device”.
    Note - for this next part you may need the iPad, have it nearby and unlock the screen.

  6. Choose to connect to the iPad as an “Audio Source”

  7. You will then see the below screen on your iPad. (Image 2) You should see a similar screen on the SOS computer. When the screen appears on the SOS computer, click on “Accept”. Then tap "Pair" on the iPad. 
    - If you don't see the pop up on the SOS computer and you aren't able to pair your iPad, try opening a terminal and entering:  gsettings set org.blueman.general notification-daemon false. Then restart your computer and try pairing again.
  8. You should then see the “Finished” screen below. However, there are a few more steps.

  9. Close the “Bluetooth Devices” window.
  10. Click on the bluetooth icon in the menu bar again and select “Devices”.

  11. In the “Bluetooth Devices” window that opens, click to select your iPad and mark it as “trusted” by clicking the star icon. See the image below.

  12. On the iPad, open the “Settings” app.
  13. In the “SOS Remote” section, put the IP address from step 6 of “Preparing the SOS Server” in the “Name or IP” field

  14. If you see two linked rings in the upper left corner of the iPad’s menu bar, your iPad should now be ready to control the Sphere.
  15. If the linked rings are not present, open the Settings app, go to the Bluetooth tab and select the computer you would like to connect to. (Note: The computer may be named something generic like “ubuntu-0”)

Re-pairing the iPad and the SOS computer

On the iPad:

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “Bluetooth” section.
  3. Tap on the SOS computer you have previously paired and need to connect to.