Automotive head-up displays were once limited to high-end luxury sedans and sports cars, but in recent years they have started trickling down to affordable models like the latest Mini Cooper and Mazda3. Navdy, a startup from San Francisco, is aiming to broaden this tech even more with its new, portable device that combines all of the features of a HUD with apps and smartphone controls.

The Navdy sits on a vehicle's dashboard and has a tiny screen that seemingly projects information about six feet in front of the car. It plugs into the model's OBDII port for data and syncs with Android 4.3+ or iOS 7+ smartphones. When you're driving normally, Navdy displays important info like speed and direction, but with hand gesture and voice recognition the user can also control apps, take calls and dictate text messages.

Navdy is pitched as much for its safety benefits than as a cool toy. According to the company, it keeps your focus on the road and eliminates the need to look down at a phone. The device already supports popular apps like Google Maps, Spotify and iTunes Music and can read text messages.

"Touchscreen-based apps force you to take your eyes off the road. So we started by completely rethinking what the experience of using apps behind the wheel should be like," said company co-founder and CEO Doug Simpson in the company's release.

Pre-orders for the Navdy are available now with shipments starting in early 2015, and for the first 30 days it's priced at $299 – $499 after that. The company is also borrowing from Kickstarter and allowing early-bird customers to vote on what apps and features the device should support later. The company's humorous video showing off the product (above) has some funny Easter eggs – check out the logo on the Ford Fusion.
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Navdy: World's First Head-Up Display (HUD) For Any Car

'Google Glass for your car' available for pre-order starting today

SAN FRANCISCO– (August 5, 2014)- Today Navdy announced the start of its pre-order campaign for a breakthrough Head-Up Display (HUD) that allows drivers to access their smartphone's apps while keeping their eyes on the road. Navdy combines a high quality projection display with voice and gesture controls to create a safer, highly intuitive driving experience.

Drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident when they take their eyes off the road to look down at a touchscreen. "Smartphones were never designed to be used while driving." said Navdy co-founder and CEO Doug Simpson. "Touchscreen-based apps force you to take your eyes off the road. So we started by completely rethinking what the experience of using apps behind the wheel should be like. Navdy is built from the ground up to be the safest and most intuitive way to make calls, use navigation, listen to music or access notifications without ever looking away from the road."

Navdy is running a 30 day pre-order campaign at http://navdy.com/preorder. Navdy is planning to raise $60,000 through its pre-sales campaign to get backers on board and support initial production efforts.

Navdy is the world's first in-car platform that offers:

■ Advanced display technology: Projects a transparent image directly within your field of view that appears to float six feet in front of your windshield so you can maintain your focus on the road while viewing navigation instructions, incoming calls, speed, etc. It's the same technology used by airline pilots to keep their eyes on the runway while landing an airplane.

■ Works in any car: The device can be mounted on any car dashboard, and is powered by plugging in to the onboard computer (OBD II port), available in all cars produced since 1996.

■ Intuitive touch-less gesture and voice controls: You never need to look away from the road while using Navdy. Glance-able apps are controlled with intuitive touch-less hand gestures, while voice recognition lets you ask for directions. Navdy's noise cancellation technology and wide angle gesture sensors are specifically designed to create an optimal driving experience.

■ All the apps you need: 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. Navdy can read aloud or display notifications from text messages or social media apps, subject to Parental Control settings. Navdy is compatible with iPhone (iOS 7+) and Android (4.3+) smartphones.

■ Integrated with your car: Navdy links to your car and is able to display information such as your speed, RPM, miles-to-empty, fuel economy stats, tire-pressure warning or battery-voltage warning from the car's computer, all presented on your windshield within your field of view.

■ Tuned for the driver: Critical information like turn by turn directions and your speed do not disappear when a phone call comes in the way your navigation app disappears to the background on a smartphone when a call comes in. The information you need, when you need it is always present and clearly within your field of view.

Pricing & Availability

Backers will be able to pre-order Navdy at the introductory price of $299, a 40% discount from its projected retail price of $499. Backers will also be rewarded for spreading the word to their friends and family; every time someone buys Navdy from your referral you'll earn a $30 discount, which means after 10 referrals your Navdy is free! Backers will also vote on which smartphone apps and features they'd like Navdy to support when it ships in early 2015.