A modern heads-up display (HUD) projects a great deal of what was traditionally shown on a car’s instrument panel onto the windscreen, and is becoming must-have equipment for high-end modern cars. However, as many of us don’t drive high-end expensive cars, we don’t get to take advantage of this technology. That’s where Navdy comes in. Currently in prototype form, the device promises to bring a projection display with voice and gesture controls to any car.
The Navdy prototype HUD integrates with your smartphone and your car’s instruments (accessed via the vehicle’s OBD II port) to emulate the functionality of a high-end projection display, whilst adding voice and gesture controls. To achieve this, the creators claim that the device can be paired with an iPhone (iOS 7+) or Android (4.3+) to allow any function that your phone has – such as maps, messages, and music streaming – to be accessed (or even read aloud) by Navdy.
A built-in infrared camera provides touchless gesture control so that drivers can answer a call by swiping left or dismiss it by swiping right, while the voice recognition capabilities of Siri or Google voice, depending on your phone, can also be used to initiate phone calls or to dictate texts or social media comments.
Navigation capabilities, complete with alerts and turn-by-turn directions are also provided, with the added bonus that the on-screen navigation doesn't vanish when a call comes in. Instead the navigation continues whilst the conversation takes place, allowing you to talk to someone without getting lost.
The Navdy team says their device will also display information, such as speed, RPM, distance-to-empty, fuel economy, tire-pressure warning or battery-voltage warning, all from the car’s computer, provided that your car is built after 1996 and has an OBD II port – and you plug it into it.
Boasting a dual core processor running Android 4.4, a 5.1 in (12.9 cm) wide display, an accelerometer, e-compass, ambient light sensor, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0/LE, along with audio out via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm jack, a mini-USB port, and an Internal speaker and microphone, the Navdy certainly appears to be prepped with all the features to meet its claimed capabilities.
Of course, there are other aftermarket HUD devices out there – the Garmin HUD being one notable example – and many smartphone apps allow speed and navigation details to be projected onto the windscreen. But the Navdy aims to produce a unit that is more integrated into a vehicle by accessing a cars on-board computer and by providing a single hub to access all smartphone-connected features without all of the messy compromises generally required for in-car add-on equipment.
Slated for shipping in early 2015, Navdy is now available to pre-order at a discounted price of US$299 for the next 30 days, before reverting to its regular price of US$499.
The video below details Navdy's features.