About this project
Provide the ability to connect and communicate with High accuracy GPS/GNSS devices and other field sensors that emit NMEA data to iOS devices over Bluetooth. So one can collect data on iPad and iPhone using one or more sensors in the field. Primary functions include:
- Override the internal GPS on iOS device with the location data coming from the external GPS so all existing apps using internal location services can benefit from the increased accuracy without any changes to the App.
- In addition provide the ability to connect with other field sensors that currently emit NMEA data format (like underground Cable Locators, Lasers, Resistographs, Audigraphs etc) simultaneously with a GPS so data from multiple sensors can be incorporated into the data collection application.
Our Project Goals/Requirements:
- Apple/mFi certified product with full support for apps on the App Store.
- IP67 or higher rating on the final product to allow users to work in real life situations including heavy rain.
- Provide universal connectivity to any number of possible data sources for NMEA data.
- NTRIP Client for iOS - Provide ability to feed RTK correction data by connecting to a RTK Network (using NTRIP) or direct IP from iPad and forward the correction data to connected GPS.
- Provide at least 10 hours of continuous use with internal battery on the device or optionally work without internal battery with external power source like car/tractor.
- Support custom app development that can be put on the App Store using an apple approved/accepted SDK library solution.
- Provide ability to connect to other field sensors that emit NMEA data in addition to GPS devices.
- Support future upgrades via field firmware updates so all users can benefit from continued product development.
- Have an open enough platform that we can support Vendor specific protocols and/or NMEA sentences in future as needed.
Need for our project:
The accuracy and precision of the internal GPS on iPads and iPhones is highly unreliable - it works fine for navigational purposes but fails miserably for Mapping and Asset Management Applications. The accuracy varies in range from a few meters to a few hundred meters - depending on operating conditions and there is no easy way to reliably ascertain that. Tests have proven that the accuracy rating on the location data returned by apple is more of a general estimate than a reliable metric.
Why we need your help by funding this project:
We added some additional feature requirements and certification requirements to the final product features that we had not accounted for while putting together our initial budget causing the small budget overrun so we need your help in bringing this to the marketplace.
We added the ability to connect with multiple sensors and make the product fully IP67 compliant. In addition we had underestimated the cost for full FCC and CE certification originally.
Risks and challenges
We have already created a non IP67 compatible Mold and enclosures but due to some feedback from some of our heavy users, we decided to include the IP67 rated components in the initial release so from a technology risk standpoint, we see little to no Risk. Fully functional and feature complete Non-IP67 rated model can ship out tomorrow if need be.
We have already been deploying and testing our RTK/NTRIP client for iOS using our cables. so we are very confident that from software/SDK standpoint, we have very little risk at this point. The App has been in use for some time now and the SDK has already been approved by apple as it is already embedded in some of our partner apps.
We have already embedded our technology in GPS devices offered by our partners to validate and test the technology built into their device. This has already been tested and received approvals from Apple, and other governmental agencies. Hundred's of these devices have already been deployed in the field and further improvements have already been completed based on initial user feedback so we feel that we are in very good position to take this to the standalone dongle that can work with just about any NMEA compatible device out there.
There are a few long lead time items required in the production process so we have already placed orders for and paid for 3 most expensive and long lead time components to mitigate any risks with production delays. So we are extremely confident that we can meet or beat the production schedule that we have laid out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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