Mobile Technology

Transparent HeadsUP! display puts smartphone apps in your face

Transparent HeadsUP! display p...
HeadsUP! displays navigation and other smart phone applications on the driver's windshield
HeadsUP! displays navigation and other smart phone applications on the driver's windshield
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HeadsUP! displays navigation and other smart phone applications on the driver's windshield
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HeadsUP! displays navigation and other smart phone applications on the driver's windshield
HeadsUP! schematic diagram
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HeadsUP! schematic diagram

Smartphone heads-up display systems that project navigation and other information onto car windshields are seen as a way to reduce driver distraction. The HeadsUP! from tech start-up NeXt takes a different approach. Rather than relying on projection, this system is based around a transparent display mounted in front of the windshield that gives drivers control of their most commonly used phone applications without taking their eyes off the road.

The HeadsUP! connects to the user’s smartphone through either Bluetooth or USB and displays applications such as messages, mail, voice calls and navigation onto the windshield. While inactive the display remains transparent, automatically activating when a call or message is received and enabling the use of voice or gestures control.

The device consists of an 11-inch, transparent OLED screen (TOLED), in-built speakers and a microphone, plus IR, ambient light and gyroscope sensors. NeXt says that the unit will be compatible with both iOS and Android.

A patent for HeadsUP! is currently pending and prototypes have been developed. NeXt has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo which aims to raise US$50,000 to complete engineering and software development with a view to mass production. Pledges start at $299 for donors wanting to get their hands on (or is that off) the HeadsUP! If all goes well, shipping is estimated to begin in August 2014.

As with all head-up displays, its major benefit lies in the reduction of distractions for road users. “There are over 1.6 million texting accidents per year. We believe innovation and technology is the answer,” says NeXt CEO Arnab Raychaudri.

Raychaudri runs us through the thinking behind HeadsUP! in the video pitch below.

Source: NeXt

8 comments
BigGoofyGuy
I can see it being a help if what is being seen is related to driving. If it is not related to driving, it is just another distraction. If one is concentrating on ones e-mail or text, ones eyes are focused on the screen and not what is ahead. I hope it is restricted to driving related apps and blocks others unless the vehicle is in park.
piperTom
A good Heads-Up needs to project the image AS IF it's distant -- so the eye does not need to refocus when switching from the real to the virtual. This gizmo doesn't look up to it. Also, apps need to be designed for this kind of use. Even my navigator is going to look weird projecting a map that doesn't come close to matching the road I'm looking at. By the time they get all that straight, the car will be driving itself and I'll just take a nap.
Dmitry Sinelov
As the inventor mentioned right in the beginning, driving and staying connected. Not good. Either drive or connect. Manufacturer's are taking the wrong road to please consumers by loading cars with mostly unnecessary toys. The common sense is dead.
Bryan Paschke
I would need to see this in person. So far the heads up display looks unpleasant and will still require me to look down rather than straight ahead. I agree with the people who say that this should only be used for driving-related information, too. Well...I guess it would be ok if it displayed the name of the song/radio station I'm listening to, but keep it simple stupid should be the base mantra here.
rsheng
This whole concept is BAD!! When one is behind the wheel, one should be focused on driving and driving safely. All applications such as this shojuld not be allowed.
the.other.will
Voice commands & conversion to/from text is a necessity for apps to be used while driving.
The Skud
Anything other than driving-related data should be blocked. With the possible exception of 'emergency' calls, phones should be turned off when turning the ignition key. [QUOTE: Enabling the use of gesture control]??? Can you imagine excitable drivers who cannot stop using hand-waving to emphasise a point? They would be constantly trying to find what happened!
Martin Hone
Just what we don't need. Another distraction from the task of driving !