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The Infrared Data Association (IrDA) is a non-profit trade association that was founded in 1993 by around 50 companies to provide standards to ensure the quality and interoperability of infrared (IR) hardware. The association currently has a membership of over 160 companies from around the world, representing computer and telecommunications hardware, software, components and adapters.

IrDA typically uses direct infrared in point-to-point, line-of-sight, one-to-one communications over short distances. The standards include: IrDA Data (SIR, FIR, VFIR), IrDA Control, and AIR. Ports built to IrDA standards can be found in products such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), printers, desktop adapters, notebooks, and digital cameras.[1]

Apple and IrDA[]

Infrared control panel

Infrared control panel icon

Apple Computer first adopted IrDA with the release of the PowerBook 3400c in February 1997. With speeds of up to 4 Mbps, IrDA gradually replaced IRTalk, Apple's slower proprietary protocol, which was limited to 230.4 kbps.[2][3] In classic Mac OS, both could be managed through the Infrared control panel.[4] In Mac OS X, IrDA can be managed through Network in System Preferences. Both infrared systems were eventually replaced by AirPort, starting with the introduction of the iBook in July 1999.[2]

Supported models[]

* also supports IRTalk


  1. Infrared Data Association at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. Accessed 2021-05-11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 IRTalk, IrDA, and the Mac by Daniel Knight, Low End Mac. 2015-01-03.
  3. Apple and IR: A Brief History by Tom Negrino and Dori Smith, Mac OS X Unwired: A Guide for Home, Office, and the Road, p.185. O'Reilly. 2013-05-02.
  4. Infrared Communication, Mac Repair Central. 2021-01-06.

External links[]


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