Feeds

Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic

Security for virtualized datacentres

Car-display manufacturer Navdy has refuted claims that its new device is dangerous, saying there are plenty of precedents for the technology.

Navdy connects a mobile phone to a small projector and provides a “pilot's eye” heads-up display, using a transparent screen. This avoids the issues of multiple images which you get if you try to project onto a laminated windscreen.

Inside the Navdy is a dual core, ARM 9-based processor, compass and flash memory. It connects by cable to the car’s systems using OBD-II, which gives data and power and a phone by Bluetooth. If the OBD-II port is out of reach it can use an OBD-II Bluetooth dongle. The whole thing is powered by the 12v power adaptor in the car.

Navdy CEO Doug Simpson told The Register that between 2010 and 2014 more than a million cars were sold with heads-up displays. Yet he concedes that it may be necessary to moderate what you do with a Navdy, and certain features can be disabled while the car is moving.

Protects a virtual mage

Navdy believes that its system is very much safer than using a phone, because when you use a touch screen your eyes follow your fingers.

“Smartphones were never designed to be used while driving,” Simpson told us. It’s a recognition that while it might be safer to turn your phone off altogether while driving, that’s not going to happen. “I particularly hate it when I’m using a phone for navigation and I get an incoming call,” Simpson told El Reg.

Simpson would not be drawn on the projection technology employed but says that it projects a transparent image directly within your field of view that appears to float six feet in front of your screen. The display can show instructions, incoming calls and the car's speed. You communicate with the Navdy using voice and gestures and the Navdy has noise cancellation and wide angle sensors to make this work.

New age sat nav

Navdy works with navigation apps such as Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, and music apps such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Music and Google Play Music. The device can read aloud or display notifications from text messages or social media apps, subject to parental control settings.

Initially the HUD will work with iOS and Android (4.3+), but Simpson told us that he’s seen a lot of interest in Windows Phone – and part of the reason for announcing the product six months ahead of launch was to gauge demand for different versions.

The information which can be displayed depends on what information the car puts on the OBD-II port. And of course there is the excellent Torque app which provides similar information but generally is able to display information such as your speed, RPM, miles-to-empty, fuel economy stats, tyre-pressure warning or battery-voltage warning from the car’s computer.

Incoming text messages on a navdy

When you get a text message you can wave at it to make it go away

Navdy is still in the prototype stage. It’s slated for a Q1 2015 release but Simpson told us that a lot of the hiccoughs in production had been eased by an association with PCH International, which works as an accelerator for tech companies that want an introduction to Chinese manufacturing. Simpson added that Navdy had been through PCH International's Highway 1 programme to reduce the risks inherent in ramping up for production.

When it ships, Navdy will cost $499 (about £300) – but there is a pre-order price of $299 (£180 or so), and a $30 referral scheme.

The distractions can be dynamic

"Not now Mum I'm driving

Quite how drivers will react when they look in their rear view mirror and see a Navdy user gesturing at the windscreen remains to be seen. ®

Promotional video of Navdy in use

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.