Futuristic Navdy projector updates any car with head-up display, hands-free controls

Phone, navigation, music, and more projected right in front of the driver

Published: August 06, 2014 03:00 PM

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A slick new aftermarket device is aimed at eliminating any reason for a driver to pick up the phone while driving by using a small, dash-top projector to create a head-up display. In the process, Navdy will allow drivers to easily update even older vehicles with the latest connected technology.

Navdy combines a head-up windshield display with voice and gesture controls to enable hands-free calls, spoken text messages, and access to navigation, and music—all without touching the phone.

Compatible with iOS and Android devices, Navdy uses a Bluetooth phone connection, a cable connected to the vehicle’s OBD-II port (on all cars since 1996), and a small dashboard mounted module with a microphone, speaker, projector, and a transparent screen.

The system displays the name of an incoming caller or texter, along with navigation instructions, musical selections, and more, all appearing to float six feet beyond the windshield where a driver can see the information while remaining focused on the road. Drivers can then use a combination of voice commands and hand motions to flip through display options, make, accept, or reject calls or spoken text messages, and choose their music or input a navigation destination.

Navdy includes parental controls and user preferences to pick and choose which phone apps can be accessed on the go, including Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, and music apps such as Google Play Music, iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. The system also provides voice access to social media apps, including Facebook and Twitter.

Using the OBD-II port, Navdy can also display information such as vehicle speed, engine RPM, fuel economy, miles to empty, and tire pressure, much like integrated head-up systems available on new cars.

Navdy is compatible with Apple iOS 7 and Android 4.3 or newer devices. A short, entertaining YouTube video shows how the system works. We like the clean and uncluttered look of the screens, and Navdy seems easy enough to use. But we’ll have to wait to try it out to see if it lives up to its promise.

Plans call for an early 2015 launch, but Navdy is taking preorders now at a discounted price of $299. After that, the projected retail price goes up to $499. If it sounds good so far, go to navdy.com to get in on the discount. That’s what we’re going to do. We’ll let you know when our Navdy arrives.

—Jim Travers    

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