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MacRumors
Dec 15, 2007, 03:38 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

PartFoundry (http://partfoundry.com/iphonegps.html) is working on an actual GPS module to plug into the iPhone's dock connector. At present, the hardware is still under development and the software interface is primitive. It is able to pull longitude and latitude coordinates from the GPS module and then display it on Google Maps.

http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/12/15/gps_proto_500.jpg


A YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY8OxHeNKfY) is also available demonstrating its current functionality.

The product is not expected until February 2008 and they do plan on placing it in a stylish plastic enclosure. It will require a Jail Broken iPhone and software will be open source.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/12/15/real-iphone-gps-module-in-development/)



notsofatjames
Dec 15, 2007, 03:46 PM
I wonder how much battery this drains whilst plugged in..

CBJammin103
Dec 15, 2007, 03:54 PM
That would also be my main concern. Not to mention that I'd be far more comfortable with news that they were working with Apple to some extent (with an SDK, that is). By February there's supposed to be the SDK anyway, so I'd be far more hesitant to install software and hardware that didn't use it at that point.

But this is definitely good news in many ways and shows progress in the right direction, I think.

notsofatjames
Dec 15, 2007, 03:58 PM
By February there's supposed to be the SDK anyway, so I'd be far more hesitant to install software and hardware that didn't use it at that point.


Hopefully, with an SDK this thing can be released as more of an official sort of product, without needing to jailbrake your phone, and that it could become more intergrated with the phone. Seeing the youtube clip, I'd had hoped there might have been a way to just add a button to the existing maps application that refreshed your position. Maybe the recent announcement from the google camp about its updated maps app may come in handy after all.

plumbingandtech
Dec 15, 2007, 04:15 PM
I wonder how much battery this drains whilst plugged in..

Good point.

They need to add a pass thru if it does, so you can plug in a car power adaptor for instance.

Drumjim85
Dec 15, 2007, 04:30 PM
it would be nice if it were offered as a blue tooth device, kinda like that puck thing ive seen around (if you could get inside the iPhones blue tooth)

whenpaulsparks
Dec 15, 2007, 05:07 PM
bluetooth is a standard. why not just connect to a bluetooth GPS unit since the iphone has bluetooth?

plumbingandtech
Dec 15, 2007, 05:24 PM
Someone mentione that bluetooth only does audio? not data.

Although if this changes in Feb with the SDK, I could defineatly see them changing to that, which would mean they would have to add a power source though.

InfraredAD
Dec 15, 2007, 05:43 PM
I can see the pros and cons of Bluetooth. On the pros:


Wireless, duh
No drain on the iPhone battery
Ability to pair the device with your Mac


Cons:

If it's Bluetooth it needs its own battery. If it has its own battery it will need to be re-charged and if that's the case, then you now have 2 devices that need charging to work together. 2 devices mean 2 cables in a car, which is not a pretty solution or possible in some cases.
Interference (probably null and void but just in case)


That first "con" is the only real one I can think of. Now if this company does end up having a second dock port which can pass power and/or data through (so the iPhone can still sync or something, more importantly the power needs to be there) then you have yourself a very good solution I think. I mean you could take the iPhone into the field at that point with an external battery or something, or even your laptop, and have the iPhone & GPS device fully powered even before you start relying on the iPhone's internal battery.

The ultimate thing to put in would be a small battery for itself, like a watch battery, that could work as a boost, a way to mitigate the drain from the iPhone. But that should only be in a capacity to boost, not to be the single sole source for power.
:D

thechidz
Dec 15, 2007, 05:53 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

PartFoundry (http://partfoundry.com/iphonegps.html) is working on an actual GPS module to plug into the iPhone's dock connector. At present, the hardware is still under development and the software interface is primitive. It is able to pull longitude and latitude coordinates from the GPS module and then display it on Google Maps.

http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/12/15/gps_proto_500.jpg


A YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY8OxHeNKfY) is also available demonstrating its current functionality.

The product is not expected until February 2008 and they do plan on placing it in a stylish plastic enclosure. It will require a Jail Broken iPhone and software will be open source.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/12/15/real-iphone-gps-module-in-development/)


ummm, This isnt really GPS. I already have an application on my jailbroken iPhone that can do this without a big ugly chip sticking out of it

plumbingandtech
Dec 15, 2007, 06:02 PM
ummm, This isnt really GPS. I already have an application on my jailbroken iPhone that can do this without a big ugly chip sticking out of it

To the same exactitude as this device?

On your iphone without a GPS?

Link?

Navizon and Googlemaps use cell phone towers which is not exact by any stretch of the imagination. This device seems to show you exactly where you are. Not "roughly" where you are.

thechidz
Dec 15, 2007, 06:04 PM
To the same exactitude as this device?

On your iphone without a GPS?

Link?

Navizon and Googlemaps use cell phone towers which is not exact by any stretch of the imagination. This device seems to show you exactly where you are. Not "roughly" where you are.

I havent used Navizon much but it seems to be pretty accurate so far... I'll know more after the holiday though

Also, for it to be true GPS, shouldnt it be able to give you directions etc?

plumbingandtech
Dec 15, 2007, 06:19 PM
pretty accurate != exact.

once you start driving around and looking for addresses then you need exact.

No. The gps is only a location finder. Maps & Directions are something that you combine with a true gps device to give you exact directions.

the Navizon or googlemaps will be fine for roughly finding stuff. But not for driving between X and Y, unless you don't mind over shooting your final destination by a few blocks and having to drive back to it.

megfilmworks
Dec 15, 2007, 06:40 PM
ummm, This isnt really GPS. I already have an application on my jailbroken iPhone that can do this without a big ugly chip sticking out of it
Actually the app you have on your iPhone is not real GPS.
This may be ugly but, according to the specs, it is real GPS, not cell tower ranging.
Until Apple approves and makes a real GPS available I'll stick with Garmin.
And for other posters confused about what is "real" GPS:
It is a receiver capable of triangulating your position on the earth with timing signals from the GPS satellite constellation.
All the other features like directions, etc. are not part of the GPS but of additional software.
Navison is NOT GPS, just cell tower ranging with a wifi location assist.

Anonymous Freak
Dec 15, 2007, 08:14 PM
I can see the pros and cons of Bluetooth. On the pros:


Wireless, duh
No drain on the iPhone battery
Ability to pair the device with your Mac


Cons:

If it's Bluetooth it needs its own battery. If it has its own battery it will need to be re-charged and if that's the case, then you now have 2 devices that need charging to work together. 2 devices mean 2 cables in a car, which is not a pretty solution or possible in some cases.
Interference (probably null and void but just in case)


Before I got my iPhone, I used a Nokia Symbian-based smartphone along with Nokia's Bluetooth GPS receiver. They worked great together. It helped that they not only used the same power cable, but even the same battery, so I could charge them one after the other, and if my cell phone's battery died while on the go, I could just swap batteries. Obviously, this wouldn't be the case with an iPhone-custom GPS receiver.

The big advantage to me of Bluetooth was that I could place the GPS receiver on my dashboard in a place that it got a much better signal than if it were attached to my phone, in the normal place it sits.

As for interference, I can pair my BT GPS receiver with my laptop, and it connects reliably from 15 feet away, in an area with really bad BT/WiFi interference. 15 feet is farther than any reasonable 'in-vehicle' use distance. The only even vaguely plausible thing I can think of is an RV where you have to put it in the back window to get the best GPS reception.

SpinThis!
Dec 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
GPS is just a receiver... it's what you do after you get the coordinates and gps information. Hopefully the final product will have more complete software than just the demo video shows... I'd be pretty hesitant about buying a $90 device that only gives you coordinates when you hit refresh...

One can do so much more with GPS... it'd be cool to see real-time direction, speed, etc much like what you get with DeLorme Street Atlas, M$ Streets and Trips, etc. It would be nice to get rid of a laptop for road trips and rely on the power of real-time Google Maps and the iPhone's Edge connection for display of GPS data. My money is on Google in 2008 for that...

once you start driving around and looking for addresses then you need exact.
Exact coordinates aren't really helpful if the software sucks... I find the iPhone's Google Maps pretty useful looking for addresses actually. If you get lost or overshoot your destination it's your own fault for not planning ahead and watching road signs, not the software's for babying you to "turn right at next intersection...". (That episode of the Office springs to mind where Michael plunges the car into the river.)

Colnagofan
Dec 16, 2007, 12:08 AM
There isn't exactly a shortage of Bluetooth GPS receivers. I have a couple already. The benefits are it doesn't use the phone battery and you can place it on the dash where it gets best reception. Isn't this a software issue?

Dagless
Dec 16, 2007, 12:29 PM
thechidz, wow.

It is a GPS device. Regardless of anything else it plots your longitude and latitude position. That's all a GPS device has to do. The mapping software performs the guidance and plotting information.

The iPhone currently has no GPS chip. There is emulated GPS functionality. But it is not strict GPS.
-
I'm very impressed after watching the Youtube vid. Hoping that Apple stick a similar chip inside a new iPhone since it would eliminate yet another device from my pockets.

eenu
Dec 16, 2007, 02:52 PM
To the same exactitude as this device?

On your iphone without a GPS?

Link?

Navizon and Googlemaps use cell phone towers which is not exact by any stretch of the imagination. This device seems to show you exactly where you are. Not "roughly" where you are.

Maybe the Navizon method isn't more accurate but using masts is (when using the correct software) FAR more accurate than GPS and the majority if not all handsets all ready have the built in hardware to be able to do it. GPS is also crappy in built up areas using masts is not only accurate but it can also be used in buildings. Granted GPS can be used where phones don't receive

djdole
Dec 16, 2007, 03:58 PM
But I'd be happier if Apple just opened up their bluetooth radio for use with devices besides just headsets, so I can pull the GPS data from my Socket blutooth GPS receiver. :-/

megfilmworks
Dec 16, 2007, 06:59 PM
Maybe the Navizon method isn't more accurate but using masts is (when using the correct software) FAR more accurate than GPS Granted GPS can be used where phones don't receiveGPS is the MOST accurate method of determining position.
With WAAS it can be less than 1 meter. And you need direct line of sight to the satellite constellation so it will not work indoors or between tall buildings.

eenu
Dec 16, 2007, 08:57 PM
GPS is the MOST accurate method of determining position.
With WAAS it can be less than 1 meter. And you need direct line of sight to the satellite constellation so it will not work indoors or between tall buildings.

I don't agree nor would my Prof who studied with the guy who designed the hardware that is in all phones today. He demonstrated that you can show someone in a house and actually watch them walking from room to room using masts and technology that is in every phone today.

Believe me i've had this debate with him for hours - and to be honest he has convinced me that mast technology can give you a far more accurate position in a far far wider variety of situations than GPS especially for mobile phone users.

EDIT: I'm not saying in ideal conditions for both methods GPS isn't just as good if not a tad better but mast methods are superior in far more situations.

thegman1234
Dec 19, 2007, 09:32 AM
I havent used Navizon much but it seems to be pretty accurate so far... I'll know more after the holiday though

Also, for it to be true GPS, shouldnt it be able to give you directions etc?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. All it has to do is give you your position on the globe. Most GPS's pair the system with maps and directions to make it useful to the average consumer.

thechidz
Dec 19, 2007, 04:24 PM
navison isn't very accurate actually

jg167
Dec 23, 2007, 04:40 PM
bluetooth is a standard. why not just connect to a bluetooth GPS unit since the iphone has bluetooth?Because GPS BT units communicate using the serial profile and that is not currently supported by iPhone. Hopefully this is just sw and will be in future releases. I bought a $50 holux M1200 and it works great, gets GPS signals clearly inside my house. Much more sensitive then the 4 year old Delorme EarthMate I had (the usb version). The Holux has a micro-usb port which it can power off of (and charge its batteries) from any usb source, but needs a custom cable to pass data over usb (but why bother). So stashing one of these in your car with a 12v to usb charger would let your iPhone run a GPS app anytime you were in the car. That would work fine for me.

Craigy
Dec 24, 2007, 02:53 PM
Because GPS BT units communicate using the serial profile and that is not currently supported by iPhone. Hopefully this is just sw and will be in future releases. I bought a $50 holux M1200 and it works great, gets GPS signals clearly inside my house. Much more sensitive then the 4 year old Delorme EarthMate I had (the usb version). The Holux has a micro-usb port which it can power off of (and charge its batteries) from any usb source, but needs a custom cable to pass data over usb (but why bother). So stashing one of these in your car with a 12v to usb charger would let your iPhone run a GPS app anytime you were in the car. That would work fine for me.

Yep - I use one of these also with my Pocket PC running TomTom 6. I love my iPhone and would love to ditch the pocket PC.

I'm hoping that this scenario works out and that Google develop some iPhone software for speech output of directions. Since the map data Obviously this would require a constant data connection - so if TomTom are developing mapping software for the iPhone I would happily buy that!

Can't really see why we can't use a BT GPS receiver - makes logical sense really.

TravisReynolds
Mar 3, 2008, 08:52 PM
if the iPhone magically does get GPS i think it will be putting itself on the top of the period as the best Phone out there

DarrenG
Mar 4, 2008, 05:26 AM
NavNGo have just announced a GPS navigation application for iPhone at CeBIT in Hannover,
see http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=64948

senorFunkyPants
Mar 4, 2008, 05:55 AM
NavNGo have just announced a GPS navigation application for iPhone at CeBIT in Hannover,
see http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=64948

Hey Darren...thanks for the info..any chance you can keeps us up to date on all thing GPS-iPhone as they develope?
Any idea if Tomtom are working on software for the iPhone?
Cheers

DarrenG
Mar 4, 2008, 06:53 AM
Hey Darren...thanks for the info..any chance you can keeps us up to date on all thing GPS-iPhone as they develope?
Any idea if Tomtom are working on software for the iPhone?
Cheers
I'll do my best, one of our editors is visiting NavNGo's stand again later today to seek clarification on this news.

TomTom have not revealed any plans for iPhone and I'm surprised NavNGo have chosen to in advance of any SDK announcements.

4np
Mar 5, 2008, 05:21 PM
GPS is the MOST accurate method of determining position.
With WAAS it can be less than 1 meter. And you need direct line of sight to the satellite constellation so it will not work indoors or between tall buildings.

Nope, Galileo is :)

ubersalad
Mar 5, 2008, 07:47 PM
Some of us should just read and not post...

DarrenG
Mar 6, 2008, 01:49 AM
Nope, Galileo is :)
Galileo 'may' be if and when it ever gets built!

fedup flyer
Mar 23, 2008, 01:59 PM
If Apple decides to build a GPS in to the next couple of models, I will defintly be first in line to buy one. I currently use a handheld GPS but would love to have one device that I could use in a strange city when I get out the cab/rental car for quick direction

infecti0n
Mar 31, 2008, 10:42 AM
Any word on GPS going into upcoming iphone v2?

jg167
Mar 31, 2008, 11:44 PM
Any word on GPS going into upcoming iphone v2?I've searched a bit for info on any new BT profiles but haven't seen any mention yet. Might not know for sure until 2.0 goes GA, I guess in June, but if it were in already, one might think Apple would tout it.

beige matchbox
Apr 26, 2008, 04:24 PM
hmm, the ipod dock connector has serial (weather the iphone has this connected i don't know) so is the GPS chipset essentially connected via it?

I don't know much about the iPhone hardware/software, but I am kinda curious as to what the main connection between the gps box and iphone is :)

Supersonic
Jun 6, 2008, 10:09 AM
Hmmm....

Until GPS is an internally fitted item, this still aint no N95 beater.

Maybe the MkII 3G iPhone will have one inside