What a way to get your head in the game, Garmin. Remember when a judge back in April ruled that using smartphone maps while driving was illegal? Well Garmin came out with an alternative that would allow smartphone map app users to use their devices safely.
A new portable head-up display, or HUD, is designed to reduce distractions by providing your directions from smartphone navigation apps to be seen within a driver's line of sight. The HUD sounds like it a great idea with its projection of directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or an attached reflector lens. Your data can be then be transmitted via Bluetooth to the device from a smartphone running a Garmin StreetPilot1 or NAVIGON app. The HUD would essentially get rid of those GPS devices that mount on the window or the ones built into the dash and would help keep eyes on the road, some users of previous devices with HUD capabilities haven’t been too impressed.
"We've had heads-up display capability for some time and as an option, interest has been little better than lukewarm," said analyst Rob Enderle. "It tends to wash out during the day, can be distracting at night, and is very difficult to do well."
The question is, if maybe looking at an illegal sharper image of your map directions would take your eyes of the road, wouldn’t it be better to quickly glance straight ahead at some directions while and keep your eyes on the road? Now that talk of making instances where you are looking at your phone and becoming distracted illegal, doesn’t it make sense to reintroduce the head-up display? It’s definitely a great time to find out.
Look out for the new HUD that will be available later this summer at $129.99 for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8.