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.