Product of the Week: Bad Elf - more freedom, more accuracy

Bad Elf - giving your iThings satellite coverage
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Bad Elf in hand
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Product of the Week is the evocatively named Bad Elf GPS (BE-GPS-1000), an Apple-approved accessory that enables the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad to receive real time GPS data on board your sailing boat via satellite, anywhere in the world.

Apple says it's simple to use, easy to enjoy. There's no complicated setup, no batteries to charge and no hassles

How it works:
Bad Elf GPS does not rely on cell tower assistance to achieve a lock or to determine position. The Bad Elf unit includes a high performance satellite receiver and antenna that receives data directly from the GPS satellites. Locking on to up to 15 satellites, a Bad Elf unit supplies GPS data up to 10 times a second that can be accurate to within 9 feet (2.5 meters).

The big news, of course is that this also means users will improve their GPS lock on the water beyond cell phone coverage areas.

The Bad Elf GPS plugs into iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad 30-pin connector to enable satellite GPS.

Bad Elf GPS Pro
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If you don't have an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, or need multiple screens on your boat, there is another product that works independently, the small and compact handheld Bad Elf GPS Pro. It wirelessly connects (via Bluetooth® wireless technology) up to five users who can share real time GPS data for display on digital charts and a wide range of other compatible marine apps.

This means that an iPod Touch can finally run mapping and charting apps like iPhone 3Gs can, perhaps even better given the Elf's high specs. Ditto for older iPhones with their crummy internal GPS receivers and for WiFi-only iPads which -- like Touch's (and mine) -- don't contain any sort of GPS.

I'm sure that there will eventually be all sorts of ways to get GPS, and even other boat sensor data, into iDevices, but the Bad Elf seems to be an easy solution, and it can be had at Amazon for $100 right now.

The producers:
iPad, iPhone, iPod, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the US and other countries. Bad Elf and the Bad Elf logos are registered trademarks of Bad Elf, LLC.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Bad Elf is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.