Garmin had announcements aplenty at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The satellite navigation company on Monday took the wraps off of a number of devices for your car, including a high-def dash cam, a mobile app for its heads-up display and a whole lineup of new nüvis.
A high-def record of what happens on the road
The Garmin Dash Cam (pictured above) is sort of like a video diary of every trip you ever take in your car. It’s a high-definition camera that can mount to any vehicles’ windshield. From there, it continuously records a wide-angle view of the road as you’re driving.
The camera is fully automated: It starts recording when your engine is turned on and stops when it is turned off, as long as it’s plugged into a switched power outlet. The integrated gravity sensor automatically detects incidents like hard braking or collision, and saves the relevant video files. And if you have the Dash Cam with GPS, the GPS receiver time-stamps and geo-tags all footage, so you can view exactly when and where events occurred, including latitude, longitude, date, time, speed and direction of travel. There’s also an integrated microphone that allows you to record audio inside the vehicle.
The Dash Cam has a 2.3-inch color display that allows you to review video on the device itself. And for a close-up view of vehicle or property damage, you can remove the camera from your vehicle and take snapshots. The camera records 1080p, 720p or WVGA video files in a continuous loop, using an included 4GB microSD card. You can expand the storage with your own card up to 32GB.
Garmin is expecting to sell two version of the Dash Cam starting in February. The Dash Cam 10 doesn’t feature GPS and will cost $219.99. The Dash Cam 20 comes with GPS and will cost $249.99.
A backup camera for your GPS
In addition to the Dash Cam, Garmin is updating its nüvi GPS lineup as well. Perhaps the most interesting new addition is the nüvi 2798LMT, which has a wireless backup camera.
The 2798LMT features a large 7-inch display, so you can spot other vehicles, pedestrians and various other obstructions whenever you back up. As long as you’re plugged into a constant power source, you can toggle between camera and navigation modes with the push of a button. And if you wire the camera to your reverse lights, the navigator will automatically shift to the camera feed whenever you shift into reverse.
At $399.99, the 2798LMT is pricey, and Garmin recommends professional installation for that rear camera. But it’s still a lot less expensive than paying for a GPS and a backup camera to be built into your car. And you can always swap it out for something new down the line.
But if you’re looking for a new GPS that’s a little more affordable, Garmin is also introducing a new 2014 Essential Series of nüvi devices. These provide the standard standalone navigation with spoken turn-by-turn directions and come with 5- or 6-inch dual-orientation displays. New to some of the essential series models this year are lifetime traffic avoidance, school zone warnings, a quick search field and a feature that shows points of interest next to the map view. Depending on the model, these devices cost between $129.99 to $209.99.
HUD goes mobile
HUD+ combines Garmin’s portable head-up display with a new, free smartphone app. Like the original, HUD+ projects directions and other information onto a transparent film on your vehicle’s windshield or an attached reflector lens. Whereas the previous version required you to purchase a navigation app from Garmin, like Garmin StreetPilot Onboard or Navigon, HUD+ features its own companion app, which is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. The whole idea is that by providing simple guidance within the driver’s line of sight, a heads-up display helps to increase safety. The HUD+ costs $179.99. The original HUD is also still available for $149.99.