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Navdy: May be the best Aftermarket Heads-Up Display (HUD)

The aftermarket Heads-Up Display (HUD) space has been horrendous - a wasteland. It's almost as if companies who are in a position to make good iOS or Android phone-integrated-HUD systems, decided that they need not break a sweat while vehicle manufacturers continue to sell terrible $2000 dollar navigation systems. That is, expensive OEM solutions are so egregious and offensive to the public-at-large, that the big players in aftermarket car electronics can sell their lesser-of-two-evils $1000 head-units into perpetuity. I'm primarily referring to Alpine, Pioneer, and Sony here. Perhaps a bit less so for Pioneer, who at least made this in between watching "the fast and the furious," or whatever it is their mobile-audio department does nowadays. Garmin, with a "half-heartier" attempt, (and I use 'heartier' loosely) also threw their hat-in-the-ring with this thing.

Needless to say, Navdy looks as if it will easily be the best of its kind available when it launches. In addition to Navdy's transparent Head-Up Display, which projects information (including turn-by-turn navigation) "as if it's floating six feet in front of the driver", Navdy HUD users will also be able to:

swipe to answer a call, or dismiss a notification; ask Navdy to "compose new tweet", "write new text" or "call mom" using the voice commands with which Google Voice and Siri users are already familiar; and, display, read aloud, or disable entirely, any notification (text, social, etc) on their connected iOS or Android phone.

Further, Navdy's HUD brandishes a 5.1 inch screen, Wifi and Bluetooth LE. It also connects to your vehicle's OBD-II port - a really smart move allowing access a host of vehicle data. The product looks well thought out, and I cannot wait to get my hands on one. The company has not indicated whether their HUD will have CarPlay or Android Auto capabilities, which mirrors certain elements of your phone's display unto a connected screen. As it stands, it seems as if users will have use of a free Navdy app and of course the unit will sync with users’ phone of choice, so long as that phone is an Apple or Google phone.

As an aside, after Navdy unveiled its product I remembered something I saw several years ago. Namely, MVS’ "Virtual Cable", an augmented reality 3D continuos line that is projected from the top of a vehicle's windshield and seemingly extends well-out in front of the driver, fluidly guiding his or her every turn. It looked superbly minimalistic. One simple continuous running laser "cable" for the driver to follow. If you have never seen MVS’ Virtual Cable True 3-D technology, check out the videos below. The potential looked amazing years ago, and still looks amazing today. 

So far, there has been no consumer product using the Virtual Cable technology. Unless MVS-California, makes their Virtual Cable available for the aftermarket, it looks as if Navdy will be King of the aftermarket HUD space.

Navdy is currently on sale for $299 USD, which is 40% off its projected MSRP ($499 USD). You can click here to pre-order. It ships "early 2015."

The Writer

New York