If no GPS, would it seem feasible to add a digial compass?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by CactusChef, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. CactusChef macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I briefly touched upon this in another thread, but I've been a little curious since all this talk about a GPS keeps coming up. Do any of you think it would be feasible that Apple might add a digital compass to the touch? It doesn't require any GPS related software.

    With a digital compass you'd have instant X-Y positioning since it doesn't require a constant signal to the satellites. It may be less practical since the latter is available in a GPS, but you wouldn't need to worry about losing a signal due to cloud coverage or what have you.

    Even though a digital compass is currently only available for the 3GS and not the base iPhone model, do you think Apple would put one in the touch or would the timespan between the iPhone and the touch release date this year not be enough to warrant such a (what seems like) a minute additional feature... (though many thought a camera would never be possible cause it'd be too much like the iPhone).

    Yeah, your guess is probably is as good as mine... but I'd like to hear your thoughts/opinions.
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I don't see much point in having a compass but no GPS. It's like having your longitude/latitude coordinate but no map.
  3. andybno1 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I never understood the digital compass addition to the 3Gs it seems like just a fancy new thing to maybe boost the iPhone sales...... personally I do not see the point in the compass
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    GPS can't give you directions when you're not moving. GPS knows your position, and knows the position of your destination, but it doesn't know the direction. Only when you start moving it knows your position now, and your position a second ago, and then it is easy to calculate where you are going and where you have to turn.

    For example if you parked your car on the side of a road, GPS doesn't know which direction you are pointing. So it can't tell you whether to go straight ahead or whether to turn your car around first. You have to drive a few meters first, which can be a nuisance. With a compass, it would know that immediately.

    To the OP: Compass without GPS is rather pointless. The compass measures the direction of the magnetic field around you. It doesn't know where you are. It cannot even point north, because the magnetic field doesn't point straight north, it is distorted depending on your position, which you don't know without GPS.
  5. andybno1 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I stand corrected lol
  6. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    I think a camera would be a big enough upgrade. I think putting a magnometer in the iPod would be silly and would make their cost to make higher.
  7. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    The 3GS camera module = $10
    GPS reciever = $3
    AKM's magentometer = <$1

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