MIAMI BEACH — Bad Elf GPS Pro Direct Satellite GPS was approved by Apple this week, just hours before the company held a press conference at the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.
The wireless device uses technology that enables non-GPS-connected iOS devices to access navigational systems without the assistance of cell towers, Bad Elf marketing director Kent Thaler told Trade Only Today at the show.
It was adapted from the aviation industry for marine application and is about the size of a key fob. It shares the data in real time by directly accessing as many as 15 satellites, Thaler said.
"There are lots of potential marine applications for this product," Thaler said. "Although we started in aviation, we are very excited about the potential."
Of the 500 million iOS devices in the world, only half have GPS, Thaler said.
It supplies GPS data up to 10 times a second that will be accurate within 9 feet, allowing users to improve their GPS lock on waterways out of reach of coverage, Thaler said. It works with all apps that use offline navigation, which is what marine apps use.
The device was nominated for a National Marine Manufacturers Association and BWI Innovation Award this month. (Dragonfly by Raymarine won in the mobile applications and software category.)
It also won the TechRadar Best GPS Device Award at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
— Reagan Haynes