New App Orion Turns IPad Into External HDMI Display


Lux, the renowned developer of iPhone photography apps such as Halide, Spectre, and Skylight, has released its latest creation: Orion. This unique app allows users to transform their iPad into an external HDMI display for cameras, video game consoles, and even old VHS tapes.

Key Takeaway

Orion, a new app by Lux, allows users to utilize their iPad as an external HDMI display, enhancing their viewing experience and expanding its functionality.

An Unexpected Venture for Lux

While Lux primarily focuses on mobile photography applications, the development of Orion was driven by the company’s own curiosity and desire for innovation. Professional photographers often connect external monitors to obtain a larger view of their shots. Orion not only facilitates this process but also enables users to easily share screenshots with their crew.

Additionally, Lux discovered that playing Nintendo Switch games on a larger screen while traveling can be an enjoyable experience. However, this required enhancing the resolution. While most available adapters can only support 60 frames per second at 1080p, Orion utilizes an AI-powered upscaler to sharpen low-resolution inputs, significantly improving visual quality.

Notably, Orion offers greater control over the iPad’s screen brightness compared to the device’s built-in controls. This feature allows users to adjust the brightness to HDR range for optimal viewing in daylight conditions or darken the screen beyond the iPad’s darkest option during nighttime flights.

The inspiration for Orion originated from the external webcam support introduced in iOS 17. This groundbreaking feature prompted Lux to explore the possibilities of turning the iPad into a portable screen. Development of Orion commenced on August 6th and is set to launch on September 20th, an impressive timeline of just 45 days.

Visually, Orion boasts a retro-inspired design and draws aesthetic inspiration from 80’s electronics brochures and VCR interfaces. The app features nostalgic-looking menus and utilizes Lux’s custom-made pixel font called Radiant.

While the app is available as a free download, Lux offers an Orion Pro version for an additional $5. This version includes AI upscaling, CRT emulation for retro games, image adjustments, and any future features introduced by Lux, without the need for a subscription. To assist users in finding the right adapters and other compatible accessories, Lux provides a detailed buying guide with their top recommendations.

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