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If you can’t beat ’em, support ’em: Garmin launches a smartphone HUD for cars

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Facing the rise of smartphones that can take the place of dedicated navigation systems, Garmin’s(s grmn) got a new device: and this one works with handsets. On Monday, the company announced the $129.99 HUD, a portable heads-up display for cars. With a compatible Garmin or Navigon mobile app, the HUD projects driving directions right on a vehicle’s windshield.

It’s a smart move by Garmin. If you can’t sell as many dedicated in-car nav systems to consumers, why not sell an add-on that makes your mobile app that much better? For the price, HUD appears to offer quite a bit of useful functionality:

“HUD offers more navigation details than other portable head-up displays, yet presents them in a simplified way that doesn’t divert the driver’s attention from the road. The directions are easy to follow and allow drivers to navigate even the most challenging interchanges and traffic situations with ease.

HUD displays turn arrows, distance to the next turn, current speed and speed limit, as well as estimated time of arrival. It even lets drivers know what lane to be in for the next maneuver and alerts them when they exceed the speed limit2. HUD also warns users of potential traffic delays and upcoming safety camera locations.”

HUD works in tandem with the spoken directions provided by Garmin’s mobile apps. While visual cues appear on the windshield, drivers can hear navigation details through their smartphone or car speakers if the vehicle supports Bluetooth audio. HUD supports Garmin’s software for Android(s goog), iOS(s aapl) and Windows Phone 8(s msft) devices and includes a USB port for charging directly from a car.

4 Responses to “If you can’t beat ’em, support ’em: Garmin launches a smartphone HUD for cars”

  1. I really like the concept, but wish it wasn’t so limited as to function. It would be nice if it also displayed who was calling in and other alerts.

    Maybe this will be perfected with the Samsung S5. ;-)

  2. dinakaranonline

    Reblogged this on Digital Consumers and commented:
    Heads Up Display(HUD) for Navigation is a really cool idea that is not yet explored well by many car companies. And now Garmin, the maker of navigation system who is under severe pressure from mobile platforms in navigation space is coming up with this innovative idea.This is certainly a good step towards product differentiation !