SE Camp 2014

Come visit Bad Elf's founders, John Cunningham and Brett Hackleman, at Booth 28. As former systems engineering consultants in corporate IT, vehicle telematics, construction, and military domains, we love to hear about new challenges and novel applications of great technology. We can also tell you all about our current product lineup and share some hints about what is coming through the product pipeline for 2015.

Who is Bad Elf?

Bad Elf is best known for making high performance plugin and Bluetooth GPS accessories for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The company grew out of DoD research into environmental, biometric, structural, and vehicle sensor integration solutions for the US Army.  At the time, existing handheld platforms were effectively unusable. When the iPhone and iPad came along, they seized the opportunity and began building their own sensor instead of waiting for others to do so. In early 2010, they initiated an internal skunk works project to build a GPS receiver for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch as a proof of technology, and Bad Elf was born.

Why is Bad Elf?

Bad Elf aims to disrupt existing, often proprietary, expensive markets with hardware accessories for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch that can be combined with apps to deliver a far better user experience at a much lower price point. Initially, Bad Elf capitalized on opportunities in the aviation market, but has recently begun focusing on opportunities in marine, outdoors, and GIS/survey markets.  

Who Uses Bad Elf?

Aviation: With the introduction of the 2nd generation iPad in March 2011, sales of the original plugin 30-pin GPS exploded, and Bad Elf transformed from an experiment to a real business as Bad Elf became synonymous with high performance external GPS receivers for commercial, military, and private pilots around the world. For the past three years, Bad Elf has developed new products and faced down challenges from larger players to remain the first choice for GPS when outfitting pilots’ electronic flight bags or augmenting flight simulators so that pilots can train like they fly. 

Marine: Boaters, sailors, and fishermen around the world are slowly adopting the iPad as an economical substitute or complement to on board marine electronics.  Adoption of the iPad and Bad Elf GPS products has been following the same pattern as the aviation market, but promises to be orders of magnitude larger.

GIS/survey: Existing GIS/survey equipment costs prohibit many institutions and local, state, and federal governments from developing the information systems that they need to maintain their infrastructure.  Bad Elf has begun collaborations with selected app vendors to develop solutions that will radically democratize the GIS/survey landscape.

Outdoors & Fitness: Many people rely on their iOS devices for day to day fitness and off the beaten path adventures. Unfortunately, when they desire location services that comes along with a significant dent in their devices' power budget.  The Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS products have all day (>24hr) batteries and standalone datalogging capabilities that absorb the power drain needed to track your location throughout it all.  That means, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch battery can be reserved and used for when you really need it.  We partnered with Snow Lizard to develop the SLXtreme milspec iPad case with built in power supply and GPS receiver.

Bad Elf Product Lineup

Ask us about or core GPS products:


We have a few other Engineering Magic tricks up our sleeve that are not public knowledge.  Stop by and find out more.