Spotted over at Wireless Goodness was this little gem about Garmin’s plans for an ANT+ device for iPhones that was discovered in FCC filings.
According to FCC documents, Garmin’s ANT+ iPhone adapter will work with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (no word on the iPhone 4S), and will attach to the bottom of the device, illustrated below. We’re assuming that Garmin will also soon release an app for iOS devices which will allow the Garmin ANT+ adapter to receive data from various ANT+ sensors.
But more interesting is that it will give iPhones the ability to communicate with Garmin’s Chirp devices. I would expect to see the Opencaching.COM iOS app updated when this is released to use this function.
There is already a way to do this using the GeoBeacon app with a device such as Wahoo Fitness’s Wahoo Key. So all Garmin’s ANT+ device will mean is that they will likely introduce these abilities into their apps.
Of course, one might also hope that other geocaching apps would also introduce this and the ability to utilise the Chirp would become more widespread. With Chirps being accessible to more people I think it will actually add some value to the geocaching game and no longer be about Garmin trying to corner the GPS and geocaching market.
When the chirp was originally released I was suitably critical of the move at the time. But this shift to making accessible to all is clearly making me change my mind. I’ll be more than happy to embrace the chirp if everyone, and every listing service, gets to have a go.
Chirp utopia may be some way off (I doubt we’ll see ANT+ technology in a Magellan anytime soon) but this is certainly a step in the right direction.