Smartphone becomes in-car head-up display
Sat-nav firm Garmin has made a portable head-up display (HUD) for cars that projects turn-by-turn directions on to a vehicle’s windscreen.
The portable HUD works with a smartphone and Garmin app to generate navigation information.
The gadget can project directional arrows, distances, current speed and speed limits on the windscreen.
Information is projected via the HUD’s attached reflector lens or on to a plastic film stuck to the window glass.
The navigation system can also provide voice prompts via a smartphone’s speaker or a car stereo that works with the Bluetooth short range radio technology. The app associated with the sat-nav system is available for iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phone 8 handsets.
The HUD automatically adjusts brightness levels to ensure that projected information is easy to read during the day and at night.
The Garmin HUD looked “interesting”, said Tim Edwards, a principal engineer in the future transport technology division at motor industry research firm Mira.
“Car makers are starting to do this themselves but their challenge has always been development lifecycles,” he said. “Your smartphone changes almost daily but there’s a limit to how fast a car can be updated.”