Technology start-up, Navdy, has released a smartphone-powered, portable, head-up display system that responds to hand gestures.

MOST CARS ON AUSTRALIAN roads don’t have a navigation system and some of those that do are so bad that they’re practically useless. While some high-end machinery, like BMW, offer head-up displays they certainly can’t respond to a hand gesture…

Well, earlier this week, a San Francisco-based company released the Navdy, a portable device (about the same size as an iPad Mini) that sits atop your car’s dashboard on a non-slip mat. It has an infra-red camera aimed at the driver, and a flip-up screen to provide a head-up display.

Navdy head-up display system

Navdy pairs to either your iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth; Navdy is then connected to your car either via an audio cable or Bluetooth – Navdy is powered via your car’s OBDII port meaning it can also access vehicle data. How’s it work? An app running in the background tells Navdy what to display – it’s capable of showing navigation with turn-by-turn instructions, caller ID, music information and text messages (it can even show Facebook), but not all at once; it is able to show two things at once, though, so navigation and caller ID.

Navdy head-up display

Because it features an infrared camera you can hang up a call simply by swiping your hand in front of you. Clever. You can even access Siri with a hand gesture. According to Navdy, the head-up display is 40-times brighter than an iPhone so that it can be read even in direct sunlight. The 5.1-inch wide screen projects an image, like all head-up displays, that appears to be floating above the car’s bonnet.

Pre-orders for Navdy began on August 5 with a price of US$299 (RRP will be US$499 when the device goes on-sale in early 2015).


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    1. As far as I can tell, Navdy relies on Google Maps turn-by-turn function for its navigation. But there are other apps you can buy that will work with Google Maps to warn of speed limit changes and fixed speed camera locations. That would mean, theoretically, that it could all display on Navdy, but don’t quote me. I’ll reach out to Navdy and ask them directly… I’ll let you know if I hear back. Cheers Isaac

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