Add-on GPS for Apple iPhone coming in February 2008 for US$89 (with video)

The Part Foundry plans to begin shipping “locoGPS for the iPhone” a GPS module for Apple iPhone which allows jail broken iPhones to gain GPS functionality.

The Part Foundry says that all software is open source and more applications are being written every day. This module gives you the ability to explore all the benefits that GPS on a platform that is small enough to put on a keychain. Plans are already underway for a stylish plastic enclosure as well.

The Part Foundry is currently testing whether this module will work on the iPod touch.

locoGPS features:
• Channels: 16
• Update Rate: 1 sample / second
• Acquisition Time: Hot: 4 Seconds, Cold: 45 seconds, Indoor: “A long time.”
• Serial Output: TTL Serial @ 9600 baud
• Position Accuracy: 2.5m-7m
• Charging: Integrated micro-USB connector for pass thru iphone charging.
Protocol Support: NMEA 0183 ver 2.3
Iphone Software: Requires Jail Broken Phone (tested on firmware version 1.1.2).
Software will be open source/community based

First prototype video:

Direct link to the video via YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY8OxHeNKfY

The Part Foundry is accepting pre-orders (US$89, ships in February 2008) here.

Imagine if this thing was ready in time for this Christmas!

52 Comments

  1. Nice and open source. This is a device I could have a lot of fun with. But it is not for everyone though. In my 8GB iPhone I do not have much space left for maps and a complex application including synthesized voices, so unless a new hackable iPhone with more capacity becomes available soon, it will just be a gadget for a small group of hackers, nothing else.

  2. The iPhone has Bluetooth, why the heck don’t they allow Bluetooth-GPS together with Google Maps?

    Even thou my Nokia N95 has built in GPS I often use my bluetooth GPS with Sirf-III chipset placed in the front of the dashboard for better GPS-signal.

  3. Re-design this GPS add-on to slide under the iPhone unit.

    From the prototype to the final casing things are improved, nevertheless, the extended length is annoying.

    Since iPhone is rather slim – wrap the electronics down and behind the phone – similar to a clip. Second generation processes shall give way to slimmer clip form to the size of 3-4 mm (millimeters) – when this occurs it will BETTER suit a well styled well placed iPhone accessory.

    Joan

  4. A product that will only work on hacked hardware is quite possibly the MOST stupid business plan in the world.

    I cant wait to see “Rotten Apple inc” or other stupid name come out with hacked versions of OSX that run on generic x86 hardware and start selling it. Who the hell is going to support it?

    This is just stupid.

    Now if this is just a story to announce they have been working with Apple on the upcoming SDK and they wanted a way to announce it prior to Apple saying who is working with them, then I suppose its one way to get that news out, but still deceiving.

  5. @- The application demonstrated on the video is just a proof of concept written very quickly. GPS users expect a better user interface. On those devices the maps are updated dynamically as you move around. If you plan to update the Google Maps continuously using Edge, be prepared to receive an enormous bill at the end of the month unless you are on an unlimited data plan (which most hacked iPhone users outside the U.S) do not have.

  6. Hopefully Jailbroken iPhones will become a thing of the past once the SDK is released. I’ll be disappointed if Apple only partially fills the void and one still has to hack in order to have all that sweet added functionality.

  7. But will it talk to you and give you turn by turn directions?

    Recalculate if you miss a turn? Track your progress in real time? Give ETA’s? Re-Routes in case of traffic?

    All it does is replace the input method with a GPS. If one needs directions they can easily pull off the freeway, get a address off a building and enter it into Google maps and be on their merry way, no need for this device.

    Nice hack though.

    Good hack though.

  8. I have invented a cheaper method that does not attach to your iPhone. It’s an ← made of vinyl that can be rolled up and carried everywhere. Wherever you are you just unroll it and point it at yourself. Works just like those maps in the parks. “You Are Here”.

  9. My GPS (map reader) has two eyes, two legs, two arms, very nice breasts and a very nice ass. She has been reading our maps when traveling for many, many years. No batteries required (for anything), just the occasional diamond. Never failed yet!

  10. But, I agree with those who say this is a bad business plan.

    My feeling has been that Apple would eventually have come out with an SDK, I’ve stated it over and again, to some derision, but that’s turned out to be true.

    Once it arrives, as long as it allows a wide range of apps to be written, as it sounds as though it will, the hackers will have to try to move their apps over to it, or see them die out.

    These guys are releasing this the same month the SDK will arrive, and I find that to be odd, at best.

    Since Apple approves of open source, it would seem to be smarter to wait for the SDK, and release it in late March. But, we’ll see.

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