Navdy, a recent startup in San Francisco, US, has opened pre-orders for its new head-up display (HUD) device, also called Navdy. It can be mounted on the dashboard of your car, and will project imagery for navigation, or feed you alerts and information while driving. Unlike other dashboard mounted head-up displays out in the market, the Navdy unit is designed to project imagery that looks as though it appears out in front of the car, rather than a simple projection on a transparent plate.
According to some users who have tested the prototype units, the graphics are very sharp, and offers better colour and resolution than the factory-installed heads-up displays found in most cars today. It projects a turn-by-turn navigation system on the screen in such a way that drivers does not need to have their field of view adjusted. Drivers can also pair their phones with the HUD device, and it is compatible with either Android or iOS platforms. With that, contact information of incoming calls can be shown beside the navigation interface.
Navdy is not in any way a simple device that projects tasks from your phone to the screen. The company takes it to another level by adding a CPU that runs Android OS in the unit itself. Aside from being a GPS navigation system, the computing platform allows Navdy to run a wide array of apps, such as a built-in MP3 app and other third-party apps. However, Navdy will only allow certain apps to run on the device while driving.
A camera on the HUD device functions mainly for taking gesture control information. For example, swiping your hand to the left in front of the unit answers incoming calls. To prevent accidental pick up of random gestures, Navdy will activate the camera for gesture sensing only when a gesture-controllable app is activated.
In addition, the device includes a microphone which basically allows you to perform voice queries and can also be alternative controls to the gesture commands. Google Voice and Siri can be use through Navdy depending on which platform your smartphone is on – Android or iOS.
The company will be opening the API to developers to design apps to run on Navdy. Notably, the HUD device can access the OBD-ii port in your car and take advantage of the car’s diagnostics system. An OBD-ii port is usually found under the dashboard or behind the glove compartment. It provides data of your vehicle, and developers could incorporate data app for features like fuel efficiency coaching, performance gauges, and other automotive-specific features in the Navdy app.
Navdy is not quite yet available for everyone, however, anyone who are interested can place a pre-order on the website here. Navdy would be made available through crowdfunding efforts facilitated by crowdfunding organisation platform, CrowdTilt. In addition, Navdy is offering its HUD unit for a special promotional price of $299 over the 30-day pre-order period before starting full production of Navdy units which is said to be shipped at the first quarter of 2015. Navdy ships internationally, too, at a fixed added price of $20.