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Friday, April 4, 2008

Live working GPS demo on the iPhone!

I have finally had time to shoot a live video of the working GPS module. Enjoy!

Link for iPhone and iTouch users here.

The software that is used to interact with the module is written by Simba. You can visit his blog here. We have joined forces to speed up the progress of the project.

Here are some of the features of the software:
  • Compass screen:
    • Your location: latitude and longitude
    • Dashboard: heading, speed, distance to target, bearing
  • Satellite screen:
    • Locked satellites used in GPS location (green)
    • Other satellites in view but not used in GPS location (grey)
  • Maps button:
    • You can upload your own maps to the Google Maps app in case you are not on a network.
    • For more information on this, you can visit this thread.
  • Points button:
    • This sets your travel destination point. It uses your Maps app bookmarks.
    • While driving, the distance to this target is displayed on the compass screen.
    • The yellow arrow on the compass indicates the direction you should take to get to this target.
  • View on map button:
    • This will launch the Google Map app and drop a pin "I am here" at your current location.
    • If you are not on a network, you will need to have uploaded a map of your local area to your phone (see above).
Note that this software is still beta, but Simba will in the meantime be overhauling/updating the code with new features, e.g. a GPS daemon, continuous location updates in the Maps app, choice of distance units in km/miles, etc.

  1. All credit for the software goes to Simba. The only thing I did was test-drive the software with the GPS module. I found a few minor bugs which he has already fixed.

  2. I did design a new iPhone icon for his software. The icon is a composition from two other icons designed by Studiomx:

  3. The icons are licensed under the
    Linkware license

Please leave your feedback, comments and encouragements!



Anonymous said...

this is wat im talking about..way to go....I really hope the GPS solution comes out now ...anyways congrats to you and your team...

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for developing this project in the way you have - most get pushed aside and take months to updates us on their progress.

Really nice app as-well - just curious: what do the other buttons on the bottom do?

-Alex Blanchard

Anonymous said...

Does this work with my Holux Bluetooth GPS Receiver?

J D said...


I am REALLY excited about this. How long do you think it will be before we can purchase units?

J D said...

This comment is here just so I get updates to the blog entry :)

Anonymous said...

Great stuff!!!!
I would love to build my own one.
Its not fair to ask but would you give out a construction manual???
I would love to rebuild my own!!!!

Thx Guys

Anonymous said...

Will a dock connector for charging the iPhone when driving be included in the final design?

GPS said...

To answer a few questions:

1. Time frame: I won't promise anything, but hopefully around June. It really depends on how fast the detailing of the package design goes and how quickly manufacturing can be set up.

2. The buttons in the bottom are: "GPS" (return to the main compass/satellite screen of the app), "Points" (set your destination point), Maps (load your uploaded maps into the Maps app)

3. The software only works with the serial port, no Bluetooth, unless we get a gpsd (GPS daemon) to work with Bluetooth.

4. Building the unit yourself is not that complicated, but requires electronics/SMT soldering skills. Maybe I'll consider giving out a "build-it-yourself" package as well after the whole project is finished.

5. Currently a mini-USB connector is included on the board for charging. I am considering replacing this with a full dock connector as it has a smaller height than the mini-USB connector and is thus also a better fit for the iTouch. And you'd be able to use the standard Apple cable that came with the phone.


Anonymous said...

How mutch is it to build one Unit??
$$$ (Amarikam Dollar)

And why you not give a "build-it-yourself" thing out now???
I am despred to build one ;-)

Thx for the ansers

J D said...

A build-it-yourself kit would be really fantastic :)

Since you appear to have some hardware knowledge at this point, I wonder if you could tell us if this is possible:

Serial-port-connecting device that attaches, probably via a cable, to the Dock connector on the iPod touch/iPhone. Multi-function controller that can be used to send "fast-forward, rewind, play, pause, stop, volume up/down, randomize" commands to the iPhone AS WELL AS being a controller for... (wait for it) EMULATORS! :) It would be awesome if we could give NerveGas and co. a physical controller to work with for console emulation. Do you think something like this is possible?