Depending on where exactly on the dashboard they’re placed, heads-up displays can either be extremely helpful, or a real distraction. Navdy seems to fit in the first category, with its sci-fi features and all.
First adopted by the military for jet fighters in the ’50s, heads-up displays made their way to automobiles in 1988, when one was featured in that year’s Oldsmobile Cutlass. Modern HUDs accomplish far more functions than their 26-year old counterparts, and manage to display more than just the current speed and the engine’s revs. Sure, smartphones or even tablets could be mounted near the steering wheel, or on the dashboard, and while they display very relevant information, they could still determine drivers to take their eyes off the road. Here’s where dash-mounted HUDs such as Navdy come into play.
Navdy is a dash-mounted HUD that puts a 5.1″ display between the driver and the road, without bothering the former from seeing the latter. The HUD is basically as big as a modern smartphone, but given its transparency, it won’t block the view while driving. On top of that, Navdy connects to smartphones (presumably via Bluetooth) and lets drivers place or answer calls, send text messages, and see navigation right in front of their eyes.
One of the best things about Navdy is that it doesn’t draw its power from the cigarette lighter, nor does it use batteries. Instead, it connects to the OBD II port (which is available in any post-1996 car). This type of connection, typically used for diagnosing vehicles, enables Navdy do display such details as fuel efficiency and speed.
A noise-canceling microphone is able to pick up the driver’s commands and execute them right away. On top of that, Navdy features a rear-facing infrared camera that enables the driver to command the device using gestures. This particular feature is exemplified in the video found at the end of this post.
The dashboard HUD is currently available for pre-order on the manufacturer’s website for $499, which definitely sounds like a steep price. However, the ones that can be purchased as an extra option when buying a car are more expensive than that. Navdy will start shipping in 2015, but not much else is known about the launch date.
Assuming that a Google Glass version made specifically for driving would show up, would you consider buying such a dashboard HUD?
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