Military Head-up Display Now Available for Consumer Vehicles
January 13, 2015
Head-Up Display (or HUD). Military vehicles have it, airplanes have it, and you’ve probably seen it in video games, too. Now, it’s available in consumer vehicles in a variety of formats.
HUD, in a nutshell, is dashboard information available on the windshield. This allows the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road ahead while finding out what speed they’re driving at, when they should turn or other pertinent information.
There are many formats this technology is now available in; some require installation by pros with automotive service technician training, and others the driver can do themselves.
Car makers like BMW, Lexus and General Motors have been offering build-in HUD displays as add-ons to certain car models which auto sales college graduates can offer for anywhere from $500 to $1000 extra. In some cases they have paired with tech companies like Panasonic.
These HUDs work with a lighting system installed in the dashboard (frequently LED) projecting onto the windshield. BMW’s models have begun incorporating music selection controlled by a tiny scroller on the steering wheel as well as scanners that can read and display upcoming road signs.
Navdy: SmartPhone Projected
Not all new HUDs are pre-installed. Some tech companies are starting their auto careers without working directly with car companies. One such company is Navdy, who has produced a device that sits on the dashboard in front of the steering wheel and connects to a smartphone. It’s currently available on pre-order for $310 USD including shipping.
It uses your phone’s existing apps and integrates them into a projected display which is supposed to appear floating six feet in front of the windshield. Driving-specific apps will stay open throughout the drive, even when people call or text. Communication through the phone can be answered and responded to through voice and motion commands.
Navdy has produced an entertaining video demonstrating some of the features:
There is now a way to create a HUD on your windshield using smartphone technology but cutting out the middleman, so to speak. HudWay has developed an app (currently for iOS, but an Android version is coming) that turns your phone into a projector.
You start by entering your route into your iPhone or iPad, then position it on the dashboard using an anti-slip surface and the upside-down image it projects appears right-side up on the windshield. It uses the device’s GPS and accelerometer to register speed and distance and incorporates upcoming turns and driving conditions.
The image isn’t the clearest, but at $0.99 for the ad-free version, it is the most affordable HUD on the market. You can see the HudWay app in action in this video:
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