GPS maker Garmin has announced HUD, a portable display unit that sits on any car’s dashboard and projects navigation details onto the windshield.
Here’s how it works. The device can be wirelessly paired with “a compatible Bluetooth-enabled iPhone, Android phone or Windows Phone 8,” and functions with Garmin’s StreetPilot or Navigon apps. When it’s all hooked up, HUD can display turn arrows, current speed, speed limit, ETA, possible traffic delays, and other nifty GPS features on a slab of transparent film that sticks to the windshield, or a reflector lens that attaches to the HUD itself. Both the film and the lens come included with the unit, which Garmin has given a suggested retail price of $130.
The idea here is to put the GPS capabilities of higher-end cars into a cheaper and more portable package. And since frequently checking your smartphone for directions doesn’t make for the safest driving experience, something like the HUD is meant to make navigation cleaner and less clumsy.
Garmin isn’t the first company to make a product like this, and the HUD’s required apps are still pricey (starting at $30) and sometimes problematic themselves, but for now it may have something on its hands. No official launch date has been given for HUD just yet, but Garmin says to expect it sometime “this summer.”