by | | 0 comment(s)

An in-car HUD that doesn't look ridiculous, or dangerously impractical? Meet: Navdy

It seems the world of startups is getting safer and more practical, with meaningful attempts at designing devices that people can actually use, as opposed to contraptions that look more like something that belongs to Batman’s utility belt.

Early this year we have talked about the amazing Russian LiveMap HUD helmet, which projects GPS data directly on the visor, a-la Google Glass. The startup is already in pre-order phase, offering the intelligent motorcycle helmet at a “low-low” price of $1500.

If the price tag is still a little high, Nuviz, a San Diego company is about to hit the market with its own stripped down version of an HUD projector that fits on nearly any motorbike helmet. The price is still TBD, but the concept seems very advanced and potentially affordable.

No bike? San Francisco CA Startup Navdy, says “no problem!”, with an in-car navigation system reminiscent of Google Glass, or such is the claim of anyone else in the tech-news industry.

Truth to be told, the design is far more similar to what jet-fighter pilots are accustomed, which is essentially a transparent display that sits between the driver’s field of view and the windshield. Once paired with an iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth, the HUD feeds the information to the driver by projecting it on the transparent screen.

Operating the device seems easy enough, with air-swipe movements, left for “yes, accept, answer call”, right for “no, refuse, hang up, ”, although experience may vary, as it is to be expected when an in-car device requires the driver to take even one hand off the steering wheel.

Amazingly, the most appealing feature of this device is one that has been hardly ever seen, even on regular smartphones, which is the ability to keep GPS navigation on screen, while answering a phone call. The split-screen design allows for what seems to be a comfortable and fluid operation of the device, which accepts also voice commands.

It is unclear how the device is able to handle different light conditions, especially windshield glare, which can be problematic when trying to read GPS information while driving towards a pre-sunset. From the company’s official blog:

“Breakthrough display technology: Projects a bright transparent image directly within your field of vision that appears to float six feet in front of your windshield, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road while simultaneously seeing navigation instructions or incoming phone calls. The device comes with advanced dimming and stabilization controls, to optimize usability in any driving conditions.”

Early adopters of the device can get it at a special introductory price of $299 (regular price: $499), and the actual product is slated to ship in early 2015.

This entry was posted in .

You must be logged in to post comments.