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Garmin debuts first head-up display for navigation apps

Portable device connects to smartphones via Bluetooth to display turn arrows, distance to the next turn and more.

By Douglas Newcomb Jul 16, 2013 12:08PM

Garmin HUD. Photo by Garmin.Head-up displays (HUDs) are nothing new and have been in cars since the '80s. But they're still available in only a few vehicles, and usually the more expensive ones.

Now Garmin is bringing the technology to anyone with a smartphone by projecting the company's navigation applications onto the windshield.


The company says the appropriately named Garmin HUD is the first portable head-up display for smartphone nav apps. By connecting to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the Garmin HUD can project navigation information from a Garmin StreetPilot or Navigon app onto a transparent film applied to the windshield or on an attached reflector lens.


Garmin said that its HUD offers more navigation information than other portable head-up displays and presents it in a streamlined manner so that a driver’s attention isn’t diverted from the road. The HUD shows turn arrows, distance to the next turn, a driver's current speed, the posted speed limit and estimated time of arrival.

It also shows drivers the best lane to be in for an upcoming maneuver and warns them when they exceed the posted speed limit. It can also alert users to the location of speed cameras as well as possible traffic delays.

"Head-up displays are a great way to help reduce distractions behind the wheel as they present navigation information right within the driver's line of sight," Garmin spokesman Johan-Till Broer told MSN Autos. "Currently available mostly in select high-end cars, we wanted to develop a navigation head-up display for the aftermarket, so anyone could benefit from this technology."


In order to use it, the owner must apply a transparent film to the windshield or attach a supplied reflector lens to the unit. The brightness level of the display automatically adjusts for lighting conditions ranging from direct sunlight to complete darkness.


Garmin’s HUD pairs with compatible iPhones, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices with Bluetooth. The HUD’s vehicle-power cable also has a USB port for charging a smartphone. The price will be $129.99 when it becomes available this summer. Garmin StreetPilot and Navigon apps start at $29.99 for regional maps.

 [Source: Garmin]

Jul 17, 2013 4:35AM
That's awesome, but I am a little confused and disappointed.  Why isn't this available for their standalone GPS unit?
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