Start-up Navdy is planning to launch a portable head-up display (HUD) that can display navigation instructions, caller IDs and other info from the driver's smartphone.
- shares

The Navdy unit consists of a projector that casts all the relevant information onto a 5.1-inch transparent display ahead of the driver. The device sits on a flexible, non-marking silicone base, which is designed to be placed atop the dashboard directly in front of the driver.

A connection to the car's OBD-II port keeps the Navdy informed about the car's movements, as well as fully powered. The data shown on the HUD is transmitted to the Navdy from the driver's Android or iOS device via either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

With sat nav engaged, Navdy's display area is filled entirely by next turn instructions. When phone notifications come in, whether they be from built-in apps (text messages, caller ID, calendar alerts and so forth) or third-party applications (Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc), these are shown alongside, although the navigation directions retain primacy. Notifications from any and all apps can be disabled by the driver via the Navdy smartphone app.

navdy-thumbs-up

An infrared camera facing the driver allows the system to be gesture controlled. For example, the driver can swipe to the right to reject an incoming call or notification, or swipe to the left or give a thumbs up to accept. If the driver accepts, Navdy reads aloud messages and notifications when the car is on the move. Alternatively, the system can also display full text messages when the car is parked.

If the driver's smartphone is equipped with Google Now or Siri, voice commands can also be used to reply to messages, make calls, enter a destination or change the musical accompaniment. Aside from Google Maps' turn-by-turn navigation, other smartphone apps currently supported by Navdy include Spotify, Pandora and iTunes.

The team behind the Navdy says that it expects to start shipping devices from early 2015.

In a move reminiscent of Kickstarter campaigns, the Navdy HUD is available on pre-order over the next 30 days for a 40 per cent discount. After the promotion period expires, the price rises from US$299 back to US$499. Shipping to Australia adds another US$30 to the asking price.