How does this work exactly? I can connect the bad elf to my phone using the app, but does it really override the iPhone's built in GPS & location services?
Yes! For sure on iOS, I think on android as well, but have to confirm. This is the main selling point of Bad Elf GPS devices. It's very popular among pilots, because without cell reception, no wifi and high speeds, the iOS devices internal GPS is as good as useless. having the Bad Elf connected via Bluetooth overrides the internal position, and gets a quick, precise location even in adverse conditions.
My experience with using my phone in conjunction with the built-in D500 bluetooth for location is that the results are not as accurate (which this will correct, presumably), but also that the results don't always update as often as I would expect.
Oh, please don't compare this with our solution. Snapbridge updates the location very very seldomly, so when it gets a location (at a large interval) from the Smartphone, it's going to be quite inaccurate even when it's "fresh". and as it gets old, it's obviously not going to get any better, unless you happen to be moving towards the position that was inaccurate before ;-)
Also, when the phone disconnects, the Snapbridge camera will keep saving the old location to the photos, I'm not sure if indefinitely, but certainly much longer than makes sense.
In our app, you can set the interval yourself, so after the first 2-3 intervals, the position should be very accurate. At the moment we actually have a filter built in to only send locations with an accuracy of 1000m or less from the app to the Unleashed, which we know is way too inaccurate, so there'll be a setting in the app to adjust this soon, along with with an indication in the App (and Unleashed LED) if the accuracy is too low.
The older unleashed works great in that way. A 3-device system would be cumbersome, but may work.
We know it's not ideal, but yes, it does work!
That's the thing, I didn't think to ask two years ago when I backed the kickstarter, because I had no idea two things called bluetooth would be incompatible. I think this is not an unreasonable assumption.
No, you're right, we should have been clearer about this. I was actually sure we wrote up some details in an update, and was going to send you a link to the corresponding update, but to be honest, I could not find it!
When we started the campaign, I was actually still trying to find a Dual Mode Bluetooth chip that would be compatible with classic Bluetooth as well as BLE GPS receivers. When we finally made the decision which Bluetooth chip to use, and that it would be BLE only, I was quite sure we wrote an update, including the information that unfortunately, this would break backwards compatibility for many external GPS units, except via the indirect route getting Bad Elf GPS data through the phone to the Unleashed. Either I just couldn't find it, or we never actually posted it. I'm very sorry about that, and it was definitely not withheld on purpose or meant to mislead anyone.
I also find it interesting that it was advertised as being compatible with external bluetooth GPS units (even if that was bluetooth LE), yet if there are none* on the market now, how could you make that claim two years ago when the campaign started?
No, that's not quite right. We were looking at several modern external GPS units from Garmin that we know have BLE, at the same time as hoping we could support classic Bluetooth GPS devices. Unfortunately, Garmin chose not so share the current location with a standard protocol, so we gave up on those for the time being, but will take another look soon, when the main features of the Unleashed are complete and the first wave of bugs have been fixed. Also, we wrote to Garmin a couple of times, and tried to find the right people to contact about this at tradeshows. We were hoping to get information about their protocol, but have made no progress on that front either.
*I'm glad to hear you have found a potential external GPS that may work. I will be interested to hear of any developments.
But still not sure I want to buy a new unit when my Bad Elf is still working perfectly, and wasn't exactly cheap. I'm sure a new one isn't either...
You'll be informed! Like I said, you can use the Bad Elf indirectly - especially if you use iOS, I know for sure that it works, I'll ask my Bad Elf contacts about it again and get our Android developers to test it as well.
The Holux M-241+ seems to be available around the 100 Euro mark, cheaper in Asia.