“Driving in the future” – that's how Navdy describes itself and judging by the rave reviews it has garnered already, it seems to be holding up to that tagline.
Navdy is a new, in-car HUD system that integrates with your iPhone (or Android smartphone) and lets you use the iPhone without having to move your eyes away from the road. With Navdy, you can “see” the road as well “see” notifications, maps with turn-by-turn, tweets and more. It's both gesture- and voice-based and literally makes you feel like a pilot in a cockpit as you drive your car.
A New Kind of “Subtle” Distraction
The problem with driving and phones is that you can't do them simultaneously without the heavy risk. That's why there's such an explosion in the niches of in-car gadgetry. Still, an in-car display makes you shift your eyes from the road to the display – even if for a brief second or two. Other systems we've seen so far are not so user-friendly.
Navdy comes up with a solution. It's not totally ground-breaking but it is cool, less-distracting and almost restores all functionality of the iPhone.
This is what Navdy looks like. It's an on-dash, detachable system that comes with a small smartphone-sized glass and a tinier projector. The glass acts as the HUD. The tech behind the HUD is designed so that it's 40% brighter than your iPhone screen. The HUD shows you bite-sized information in a cool little interface.
Navdy can do a lot of things. It's almost same as Siri or Google Now (and in fact, a little better.)
What Navdy Can Do
- You can get turn-by-turn navigation displayed on the HUD. You will no longer need to take your eyes away from the road as you read navigation information.
- You can answer calls (gesture and voice), get the system to read out text messages and reply to them.
- You can get notifications from almost all the apps on your iPhone through Navdy. You can have Navdy read out the notifications. It looks like all apps are integrated but you can't interact with some of the apps (yet).
What makes Navdy stand out from existing systems is that it's tiny, portable and doesn't involve what's typically called “installation.” It's *almost* plug-n-play. Once connected to the car's on-board computer and your iPhone, Navdy is ready to go.
Navdy is a computer on its own. It runs on Android 4.4, features Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, a powerful IR-sensor that reads your gestures, internal speaker and microphone, (there's a couple of audio-out ports too) and most importantly, small enough to feel like a part of the car.
A Premium Product
For all its cool, “futuristic” vision, Navdy is a premium product. It will ship in 2015, retailing at $499. (At the time of publishing this though, the price stands at $299 but the offer expires tonight).
Navdy's price tag may not be for all, but the system as such is definitely designed for anyone to use easily. The simplicity of the HUD system is truly commendable.