Navdy projects transparent image in driver's field of view
August 6, 2014 by Nancy Owano
Navdy is a portable device you put on your car dashboard—the car you already own. Its reason for being is fundamental. When you focus on your phone you cannot focus on the road. When you keep looking down from the steering wheel, accidents can happen. Navdy said drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident when they take their eyes off the road to look down at a touchscreen. Sit behind the wheel in your car, look out, and consider where your line of sight ought to be while the car is in motion and you are viewing information. Enter Navdy, a device from the company by the same name.
"Navdy projects a transparent image into the driver's field of view which appears to float outside of the windshield," according to this San Francisco startup. Navdy has begun to accept pre-orders for its device; the idea is to drive and at the same time be able to see useful information in the drivers' view. The Navdy device sits on a magnetic mount on the dashboard. No more looking down to fumble with knobs, buttons or touch screens. "Navdy is built from the ground up to be the safest and most intuitive way to make calls, use navigation, listen to music or access notifications without ever looking away from the road," said Navdy co-founder and CEO Doug Simpson.
Wayne Cunningham explained in CNET: "Navdy will offer an app that integrates a driver's iPhone or Android with the HUD. Navdy projects turn-by-turn directions, computed by navigation on the phone, in front of the driver. When a phone call comes in, Navdy shows the contact information. And drivers can see what music is currently playing." Navdy is designed to relay information and respond to information with voice and touch-less gesture controls. The San Francisco start-up offers drivers the opportunity to accept and initiate calls without looking at the phone. A camera mounted in the unit takes the gesture control information. Swiping your hand to the left answers a call or you can swipe right to dismiss an untimely notification. said Navdy. Google Voice or Siri can be used as voice commands to compose a tweet or make a call; the device works with iPhone or Android phones.
Navdy plugs into a car's on-board diagnostics (OBD II) port. "OBD II ports have been built into every car sold in America since 1996," said the company. "Even if you've never seen yours, it's definitely there! Usually it's below the steering wheel just to the left." Navdy said, "You will not need to worry about battery life - as long as your car has power Navdy will too."
The company is making Navdy available for pre-order at the introductory price of $299, and the retail price will be $499. Navdy said the product ships early 2015.