Connect any existing GPS/GNSS receiver to iPhone, iPad & Get the Accuracy of the External GPS/GNSS on every iOS App
The Kickstarter-funded NMEA-BT dongle is now shipping to customers worldwide, who wish to connect their existing high-accuracy GPS devices to the ease of iOS devices.
The NMEA-BT, an elegant, weatherproof and field-tested device, solves the problem of achieving high locational accuracy reliably on all apps running on an iOS device.
By over-riding the iOS device’s location services with the intrinsically more accurate external GPS devices used by mapping and survey professionals, it allows all users to pair external GPS devices to user-friendly apps. It helps preserve the investments in high grade, cm/sub meter GPS systems without sacrificing on tablet’s ease or use or forcing the user to invest in custom-made devices and software.
A free app from the Apple iTunes App Store (NMEA Talker) connects to a cellular RTK network or a direct IP-based correction service, and feeds the corrections to the GPS, allowing for cm accuracy when out in in the field. The app can also be used to easily to display notifications for error conditions, like the loss of an RTK fix, or a drop in accuracy below the user’s specifications etc.
In addition to connecting to GPS devices, users can connect also other sensors like laser range finder, Resistograph, underground cable locator device, commercial weight scale etc. that emit NMEA formatted data simultaneously in addition to a GPS and access to data from devices simultaneously in a single data stream on the iOS device. Application developers can access the entire raw stream of data from multiple devices without sacrificing app security or design architecture, since the solution does not require any proprietary libraries to read that data stream.
- Bluetooth range: over 100 meters in real life operating conditions – rated 1 km range.
- Battery Life: over 10 hours of continuous use using internal battery.
- Charging: Can be used while being plugged in / charged using the micro USB cable.
- Weatherproof Rating – IP67.
- Apple mFi certified – compatible with all iPhones and iPads that come with a lightning port.
GPS/GNSS system Compatibility
Even though the NMEA-BT allows you to connect any external GPS/GNSS receivers to iOS devices over Bluetooth, here are the ones that have been explicitly tried and tested (some were tested in house and others based on our existing customer’s testing and feedback)
- John Deere StarFire
- Trimble Pro 6, Geo Explorer
- Topcon HiPer series
- Septentrio APS and NR series
- Geneq SXBlue series
- Ag Leader 6000 and 6500 series
- Raven Industries – Envizio Pro series
The only requirement on the external receiver to be able to connect external GPS/GNSS receiver to iPad, iPhone (iOS devices) is that the receiver should emit NMEA 0183 – GPGGA and GPRMC messages – which almost all of them do.