Third Party GPS

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by mcdspncr, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. mcdspncr macrumors regular

    mcdspncr

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #1
    After reading that the Apple Watch will support third-party attachments such as heart rate monitors, I had a thought about GPS support. Perhaps third-party products like the Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS may work as well. Hopefully it will be able to pick up location data from the GPS at launch, but if not hopefully in a (near) future update. I would certainly like to be able to carry a small GPS along on a run or ride as opposed to the 6+
     
  2. macduke macrumors 604

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #2
    It would be neat if accessories like this were bands. Considering how small GPS chips are nowadays you could fit that and a BT module with small battery inside a band. The Apple Watch has a diagnostics port (with a cover plate on shipping models) that some speculate could be used to power such accessories in the future. Even if it can't, you could still put a micro USB port where the band connects to the watch to hide it while in use, and when you pull the band off you could charge it with that port.

    Anyone want to make a Kickstarter? I have a background in design, photography, web development and marketing. We would need someone who can specialize in packaging a bluetooth chip, gps chip, battery and any controller chips to tie it all together in a thin band. We would also need someone who has manufacturing knowledge or contacts, and someone who has experience with materials design who can take design concepts and make them into a functional, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing and premium feeling final product. The projected sales numbers so far skew heavily towards the sport model, so I would guess there is a sizable portion of the market who would be using this for fitness tracking. However, there would have to be a clear benefit of GPS over a motion co-processor and barometer combination. More accurate? It would also help you track distances on a bike. It's my guess that bike riders typically are more interested in viewing the path they took vs. runners. If there isn't a clear benefit to runners that could limit the market substantially.
     
  3. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #3
    On the other wrist I have a Microsoft band for fitness and GPS tracking, between an apple watch and the MS band, I should be covered :)
     
  4. mcdspncr thread starter macrumors regular

    mcdspncr

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #4
    I like your thinking. Now we just have to wait and see if the Watch supports bluetooth GPS input!
     
  5. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Big D
    #5
    Do any of us have the Watch but not an iPhone? Why not just use the iPhone's GPS?
     
  6. joshcls macrumors 6502

    joshcls

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    #6
    Carrying an iPhone on a run is awkward, a watch would be much easier.
     
  7. macduke macrumors 604

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #7
    Maybe not immediately, but I think iOS 9 and the new SDK is supposed to allow for apps to run directly on the watch itself, which should open things up a bit more. Then all you need is the app to take the GPS polling info over bluetooth like any other accessory and draw it on top of a MapKit view and log it. I guess you're right in that I'm not sure if the watch accepts any sort of bluetooth input outside of the iPhone, maybe just output for audio? But you'd think the potential to connect with accessories—especially for health—would warrant such protocols being open for input?
     
  8. h43m macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #8
    I think that a support for bluetooth GPS devices would be a nice feature, since I imagine a lot of sports where one would rather not carry an iPhone. However, there are only a few devices on the market that have an MFi certificate and we do not know yet if WatchOS supports them as well. Let's hope that Apple gets the point and opens iOS and WatchOS for more devices.
     

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