Navdy is like Google Glass for your car, looks to make even the oldest beater “smart”

Navdy jpeg-3

2014 is gearing up to the be year we finally see a big push into the software side of our automobiles. Google and Apple are both looking to go head-to-head with various implementations of their own, gathering bannermen in an effort to finally make our cars as smart as our mobile devices. While you’re busy choosing sides, here comes a new cross-platform device called Navdy that plays well with just about any smartphone.

Navdy looks to take that same basic principal of Google Glass (displaying information in front of you) but in a way you can still pick up chicks on the street without looking like a total douche. Because not very many people have the wallet (or the self-esteem) to wear something like Google Glass, Navdy is already looking much more appealing in the automotive space.

Navdy Screenshot projector

Think of it like a really advanced speaker phone, but one that runs on Android and has its own UI. Using a tiny projector, Navdy presents the driver with visual cues of incoming calls, SMS messages, and shoots them on its tiny, transparent display.

But that’s not all it can do. Each Navdy is outfitted with an infrared camera and microphone, allowing you interact with Navdy either by using very basic hand gestures, or by voice. Notifications are handled by Navdy’s Android or iOS apps, allowing you to customize what pops up on the HUD.

Navdy jpeg-1

Navdy hardware specs

  • 5.1″ wide transparent Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • High quality projector
  • IR camera for touchless gesture control
  • Accelerometer, e-compass, ambient light sensor
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0/LE
  • Audio out via Bluetooth or 3.5mm minijack, mini-USB port
  • Internal speaker and microphone with noise canceling DSP
  • Dual core processor running Android 4.4
  • OBD-II power and data connection to car computer, with optional 12 volt power adapter
  • Portable, bendable, non-marking, powered friction mount, with magnetic connection to the device
  • Dimensions (excluding mount): width: 130mm, depth: 140mm, height: 95mm (including display)

Of course, Navdy isn’t without some controversy. The ongoing debate on whether or not we need more distracted driving on our roads and even if Navdy is designed to be safer than looking down at your phone, there are those who feel it’s just as distracting as all those Glassholes making headlines a few months back. Like most things, we’ll let you decide for yourself.

Navdy jpeg-2

This seems like a really bad time to take a call from Mom

You can check out Navdy’s funny new promo video with Adam Lisagor — Silicon Valley startups’ favorite video director —  who you may remember as the “Coin” guy down below. If you like what you see, the Navdy isn’t cheap and is set to launch in “early 2015″ at $500. But for the next 30 days, early adopters can pre-order one at a much discounted $300 (40% off). Any takers?

[Navdy]

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  • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

    I’d much rather wear Glass for safety reasons. Glass isn’t directly in your field of view like this product.

  • Captcaveman

    Hmmm,..
    Well. It’s cool. But I don’t know if I’m sold or not.
    One concern I have is how well it will pick up voices with road noise in the background. I know when I try to give commands with the phone or even with my Android Ware road noise causes major issues. I have a one year old Dodge Journey. Not high end super sealed cabin to begin with, but not a major noise maker either. If I have to be stopped or not going over 25 for this to work with voice then it wouldn’t do me any good.

  • scoter man1

    I’m against anything that helps you read texts. I had the (dis)pleasure of being driven by multiple people today who made dangerous swerves from stupid tasks like that. Only thing I’d support is maps/gps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/madmikeX3 Michael Parks

    I have a high dash, won’t work for me.

  • daisyboots

    The person mentioning the noise concern makes a good point. Also $500 is a little steep for first gen tech for a non essential extra that is already replicated by existing stuff (pre-existing in car screens/hands-free & dash mounted phones). All of which makes it that much less essential – and harder to pay $500 for. $300 seems like a more marketable price point.

  • Shahidul Islam

    hi

  • mcl630

    Make something like this, but running Android Auto and I’m in.

  • MIKEEEEE

    one more device to distract while driving.

  • Wozn2

    When you are driving, you should be concentrating on driving – not texting, browsing, getting wikipedia updates or tweeting.

    • steveb944

      OK Dad.

  • Luxferro

    It would have been cooler if it was more low profile and used your windshield as the hud display, like oem car huds do.

  • unashamedgeek

    I always wear polarized sunglasses and I have seen these things not work with those. For example, tested out BMW’s HUD and couldn’t see it. I’ll be passing on these things until they come up with a way for it to work with polarized lenses.

    • No_Nickname90

      Do you really believe they will? I mean, think about what polarized lenses do. They’re designed to block out certain wavelengths. Some polarized lenses block out horizontally while others block out the vertical light.

      • unashamedgeek

        I understand how they work and while I might not be able to figure out how they could do it, I’m not going to be against engineers. I was unaware of screens existing that weren’t affected by those lenses and yet Amazon used it for their phone.

        • No_Nickname90

          Amazon uses a polarized screen on their phone? I don’t know of anything that produces light that isn’t affected by a polarized lens. Unless it’s specifically shooting the light wavelengths horizontally or vertically.

          It sounds like I have a misunderstanding somewhere if there’s confusion. LoL!!

          • unashamedgeek

            The Amazon Fire Phone’s display uses a circular polarizer which them and multiple reviews claim allows you to use polarized sunglasses and still see the screen at any angle. I haven’t seen it in person, i’m just going off the reviews and write-ups.

  • chris_johns

    why not display on windshield…this seems a lil silly how dif is this to mounting ur smartphone with carmode on ur dashboard lol bc its clear? i need to spend 500 lmao stop it

  • Max

    Seems like it would need a cellular chip, no? Unless it is using data through cellphone? Which if it is makes the $500 pretty steep. Displaying onto the windshield directly would drastically increase costs, and have to be purpose built for each car model individually, (sometimes 2 different windshields are even used in different option packages on the same car model). So it does really make sense to use plastic screen, which if its high quality is no big deal.

  • hemipw54

    A voice inside my head says; turn left and steer away from this, oh wait that was just Siri.

  • Ben Lutgens

    I’m pretty sure that use of the phrase “pick up chicks on the street” does all the “making you look like a douche” with or without Google Glass™

    Just sayin’.

  • http://www.fodografes.com Fodografes

    Wish more car makers offered this in an oem type of deal.

  • steveb944

    I was tempted up until I saw the price, it’s just a screen. I thought it would project over the windshield.

  • Delmar

    Looks sooooo bad ass and my car is manual everything so this would be badass

  • http://www.heliosoptix.com Steven Skwarkowski

    Just had a discussion about this yesterday. Still wanting a more universal and small or more practical setup, This design is very primitive and clumsy!

    Take a stand alone brain and have it hidden. Have a small projector attached by a cable to the brain. Then have a clear, UV resistant overlay that goes onto the inside of your windsheild.

    Small, inconsicuous and much better looking

  • Carl Rood

    Wouldn’t a dock for your phone and using voice commands accomplish the same thing?