Despite concerns that they may actually make driving less safe, heads-up displays (HUDs) could eventually be standard equipment on most cars. In the meantime, what happens if you want the technology in your existing vehicle? Well, you might be able to install an Iris HUD system in place of your driver's-side windshield visor.
Similar in form to Pioneer's NavGate HUD, Iris consists of a 720p laser projection unit (mounted on the existing visor bracket), which is joined by a pair of arms to a flip-down transparent screen. That screen sits at the top of the windshield, displaying data that's projected onto it while still allowing a view of the street beyond.
It also has its own visor, which can be flipped down to serve the sun-blocking function of the car's removed visor when needed.
Using an iOS/Android app, the user's smartphone can connect with Iris via Bluetooth. The device can then do things like displaying incoming call info or other messages, displaying turn-by-turn GPS-guided directions, or alerting users if they're exceeding the speed limit in their current geographical location. Its voice recognition system also allows users to place hands-free calls, while its gesture recognition tech lets drivers accept or reject calls by swiping their fingers through the air in one way or the other.
Even if not synced with a phone, Iris can still communicate with the car's onboard computer to display the current speed, fuel consumption, and other vehicle-related data.
The Vancouver-based designers of Iris are now raising production funds, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$299 will currently get you a unit, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is $499. More technical details are available in the video below.
Needless to say, Iris isn't the only aftermarket HUD system out there. Garmin, Navdy and HeadsUP! all offer devices that sit on the dash, while the Hudway app simply utilizes the reflection of the phone's screen on the inside of the windshield.