Navdy: Tech Startup Debuts A Head-up Display For The Masses - Video Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Aug, 06 2014 | 3 Comments

So you’re not already driving one of the few models equipped with a head-up display, but you’re keen to upgrade.

Ordinarily, you’d have two options: buy a new car, or find a way to mount your smartphone close to your line-of-sight without creating an obstacle in your view ahead.

A new tech startup, Navdy, wants to give you a third option: the eponymous Navdy display.

The new device is designed to sit atop the dash, where useful information is projected onto a clear panel that folds out of the Android-powered base.

The design is similar in concept to the pop-up display in the new Mazda3, however the Navdy system is designed for even tighter integration with Android and iPhone handsets.

The Navdy unit can provide turn-by-turn satellite navigation with spoken directions and, working with your phone, offers voice-activated controls - through either Siri or Google Now - for phone calls and the reading and composition of text messages.

The device can also be controlled by Jedi-like hand gestures, ‘swiping’ or offering a thumbs-up in front of the driver-facing camera for pre-set commands.

The system comes in two parts: a cradle that sits firm on the dash (although it is not designed to be fixed securely to the dash), along with a magnetic coupler for the device itself to connect with the cradle.

The system is powered through your car’s OBD-II port - a diagnostics point usually located beneath the dash - rather than through the usual ‘lighter socket’ 12V point.

Navdy says that using the OBD-II port will allow developers to build advanced features into future apps, including data related to fuel consumption and driving performance.

Access to those features could result in the creation of apps that can ‘train’ motorists to drive more efficiently, while a performance-focused app could show more sports-oriented data.

Although cumbersome in appearance, the Navdy system is likely to find interest among tech-savvy and information-hungry buyers.

The system is available for pre-order now, with an introductory price of US$299 as part of a push to raise US$60,000 to fund full production. Later, the price will rise to US$499.

MORE: Technology | Android | iOS/iPhone

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