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Navdy adds a HUD to any car


August 6, 2014

The Navdy prototype heads-up display (HUD) projects information onto the windscreen

The Navdy prototype heads-up display (HUD) projects information onto the windscreen

Image Gallery (3 images)

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.

Source: Navdy

About the Author
Colin Jeffrey Colin discovered technology at an early age, pulling apart clocks, radios, and the family TV. Despite his father's remonstrations that he never put anything back together, Colin went on to become an electronics engineer. Later he decided to get a degree in anthropology, and used that to do all manner of interesting things masquerading as work. Even later he took up sculpting, moved to the coast, and never learned to surf. All articles by Colin Jeffrey

I have an app on my phone that shows road speed and engine rpm on my URQs W/S for free so this is a yawn, understeer, understeer, glance at brake pedal OVERSTEER! Yes off track FAST! Nothing like sliding on the grass fast, bleed speed release brake, drive away from the barrier, yeah My URQ is dent free, black garage queen, she is 31 now and flawless. yeah we push BuMmerWs on the back corners to the point they yield on the front straight, which is where the only place is that you are allowed to pass, yeah novice stuff

Bill Bennett

Perhaps the most important feature is that it is placed centrally relative to the driver. Certainly, the worst feature of my satnav is that it sits attached to the windscreen off to the right. (If I place it in the centre of my field of view, it blocks too much of the road.).

It would be a nice feature to have a dash cam built in to it, and using the car's onboard computer, act as a car equivalent to a black box flight recorder. This would do wonders for road safety. Imagine knowing that after an accident, the attending traffic officer could plug into the device and download the film and all relevant data. If traffic signal status were also recorded, witnesses would be much reduced in importance, as indeed would driver statements.

There would be at least several other benefits to such an arrangement, such as realistic drink and drug driving legislation: re. U.K.'s zero tolerance and cannabis's 28 days to fully clear the system. I don't hold with driving while incapable, but there has to be something not right with legislation that can result in being banned for using something long after all its effects have worn off.

Mel Tisdale

Agree with Mel, needs a breathalyzer built in to prevent drunks from driving, however if your passenger is blitzed then possible tie in to reaction time, or monitor eye movement or erratic behavior from the driver.

Carmakers could build in these systems but many people would not want to be monitored, policed, or spied on more than we already are.

However just keeping the drunks, & stoners, texters, tweeters, off the road, can do us all good.

Bob Flint

Dash cams are already common in Russia due to the prevalence of insurance scams. They provided a large fraction of the video of the Chelyabinsk meteor.


Can anyone provide a link to "the same type device for much less from China"?


seems the chinese has this beat for less then 60 bucks.

Phillip Ramirez

I have seen the same type device, with the same functionality for much less from the China manufacturer

Tom Sobieski
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