Get ready for head up displays in the aftermarket. Garmin is taking a sexy, luxury car feature and offering it to the masses with a Bluetooth system that projects “crisp and bright” directions onto a transparent film on the windshield, in the driver’s line of sight.
Called HUD, the device sits on the dashboard and it works with a smartphone app to display navigation plus traffic warnings and traffic camera locations. It shows an arrow and distance to the next turn, plus an estimated arrival time. It also shows which lane to be in for the turn, driving speed and the speed limit.
The display is clear in direct sunlight or at night says Garmin.
“Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price,” said Garmin VP of Worldwide Sales.
Garmin says HUD is easy to set up. Users can choose between displaying navigation information on their windshield, with the included, transparent film, or on to a reflector lens that attaches directly to HUD.
HUD pairs with an Android, iPhone or Windows 8 phone. And there’s a USB port in the power cable so you can charge the phone.
It works with either GarminStreetPilot or Navigon navigation apps, which also deliver simultaneous turn-by-turn voice cues through the phone or the car stereo (via Bluetooth).
HUD will ship this summer at $129.99 suggested retail price. The StreetPilot and Navigon apps start at $29.99 for regional maps such as East, West or Central U.S. and they include real time traffic.
Also when using HUD, music streaming to the car radio will automatically mute for voice prompts. And HUD directions continue to be displayed while taking calls on the phone.
HUD displays are expected to become a popular in-car feature, and will be included in 9 percent of cars by 2020, up from 2 percent in 2012, according to IHS Automotive.
The displays typically project images that appear about 7 feet in front of the drivers’ eyes, says Detroit News, and are particularly useful because they let driver keep his eyes on the road instead of looking down at a display.