Magellan Turns an iPod Touch into a Mobile Computer

 - February 7, 2012, 5:50 AM
Magellan’s ToughCase gives the iPod GPS capability.

Did you know your Apple iPod touch can be turned into a rugged mobile computer? Just plug the iPod touch into Magellan’s ToughCase, and your mobile device gains a GPS, protection from the elements and even protection from damage when dropped.

The ToughCase sold for about $200 when it was introduced but is now available from Magellan for $79. It includes a 1840 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery that extends the iPod battery life and recharges the iPod’s battery.

The ToughCase features a solid housing with a transparent lid secured by two strong latches. The lid allows the user to manipulate the iPod’s touchscreen as normal, although sometimes the user has to press more than once to unlock the lock screen or launch an application. The case is waterproof to IPX-7 standards (ingress protection rating, tested to 30 minutes up to 1 meter).

The GPS receiver is a 20-channel high-sensitivity SirfStar III. In tests of the ToughCase using an iPhone 3GS, GPS reception was far better when the iPhone was installed in the ToughCase. For iPods, which don’t contain a GPS receiver, the ToughCase can add a capable GPS, allowing the iPod to use the many navigation apps available in the App Store, including aviation moving-map apps.

The ToughCase housing replicates all of the iPod/iPhone buttons, so there is no need to unlatch the locking flaps to change volume, press the home button or the sleep/wake button. The ToughCase includes a stereo audio jack, but this doesn’t work with iPhone headphones that include an inline microphone.

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