Garmin developing a HUD accessory for your smartphone

Device offers navigation directions, speed data, traffic information and more -- all displayed in your field of vision

Garmin has sent out a press release about an upcoming product that has a cool factor off the charts. This small HUD (Heads-Up Display) unit connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth, and beams pertinent navigation information on to a small screen attached to your car windshield or to an included reflector screen. 

Using the Navigon app for Android (starting at $29.99, price based on included maps), the Garmin HUD can tell you directions, your speed, ETA, traffic and safety tips, and even offer lane assist to help keep traffic flowing at busy highway interchanges. Along with easy to see turn indicators, the Garmin HUD will help keep your eyes on the road instead of on your phone's display. To round out the features, the HUD even offers USB power pass-through to keep your phone charging while using the system for navigation.

Not yet officially available, the device has not yet received FCC certification. Garmin must be pretty confident that the unit will be approved, as they are sending out press releases. The unit will retail for $129.99 and be available online this summer from Garmin. We're curious to give this one a closer look. See the full press release after the break, and follow the link below for more information.

More: Garmin

A New Way to View Directions in the Car: Garmin® Introduces Its First Portable Head-up Display (HUD)

OLATHE, Kan./July 8, 2013/Business Wire — Garmin® International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced HUD[1], the company’s first portable head-up display for smartphone navigation apps[2]. HUD is an innovative new way of viewing navigation information in the car, projecting crisp and bright directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or an attached reflector lens. By providing comprehensive road guidance at a glance and right within the driver’s line of sight, HUD can help increase safety and reduce driver distraction. HUD receives navigation information from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a Garmin StreetPilot1 or NAVIGON app.

“HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price.” 

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[3]. The crisp display automatically adjusts the brightness level so projections are clearly visible in direct sunlight or at night.

Complementing the visual display, spoken turn-by-turn directions are provided simultaneously by a compatible Garmin or Navigon app1, either through the smartphone speaker or a Bluetooth-connected car stereo. Music streamed to the car stereo from the smartphone will automatically fade out for turn-by-turn voice prompts. HUD also continues to display navigation information while taking incoming calls.

HUD is easy to set up. Users can choose between displaying navigation information on their windshield, with the included, transparent film, or on to the included reflector lens that attaches directly to HUD. The device pairs wirelessly with a compatible Bluetooth®-enabled iPhone, Android™ phone or Windows® Phone 8. An integrated USB port on the vehicle power/adapter cable makes it easy to charge the smartphone while driving.

HUD has an MSRP of $129.99 and will be available this summer. Garmin StreetPilot and NAVIGON apps1, starting at $29.99 for a regional map (NAVIGON U.S. Central, East or West), provide premium turn-by-turn navigation for smartphones, including onboard maps, lane guidance, speed limit warnings2, real-time traffic2, and many other features.

HUD is the latest from Garmin’s consumer automotive segment, the leading worldwide provider of mobile navigation solutions for automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. Garmin’s user-friendly personal navigation devices and apps have innovative features that provide time- and fuel-saving benefits to meet the demands of everyday driving.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I'm not sure I see this as really useful. A car dock is cheaper, and the way I read it you're buying Garmin's maps with this device too? If it's something you can use just in general it may be a nice alternative to a car dock. I would rather have access to my screen if needed though, instead of trying to process how to tap things in a reversed fashion. That seems like more of a distraction than just using your phone in a dock, and I easily people doing that no matter what.
  • +1. If I were to by something like this it wouldn't be proprietary to 1 company. Now a HUD that mirrors whatever your car dock is doing or your music player if you aren't using a navigator, I might consider it just to be able to keep my phone out of the hot windshield area. Posted via Android Central App
  • Looks interesting and could be a good solution if you have no phone dock like me.
  • Except that you can buy a universal car mount from china for next to nothing. the idea behind it is great but it seems very over priced. and i cant imagine it being very visible in bright sunlight.
  • I am seriously considering this. I will wait for the reviews. Posted via Android Central App
  • No Google maps breaks the deal. I don't want to pay over a hundred dollars for a device that uses (what I consider to be) inferior maps.
  • For $130 it should come with Navigon since it's integral to the product. $160-$170 depending on the the Navigon edition is just too much. They're charging $130 for essentially a display with Bluetooth. Price seems out of whack since you can buy their base model 5" navigator for around $100. Otherwise, cool idea.
  • This is called innovation folks and I love it, Garmin knows they're screwed if they don't change their game plan big time and they have delivered. More companies need to do this Posted via Android Central App
  • +1
  • Agree, but I don't see this saving them. Especially once the Chinese rip...knock-offs hit the interwebz.
  • The idea of an "Add on" HUD is SO cool.
    The HUD in my wife's vehicle is something I love about it, and I'd love to have a HUD in my other vehicles. Perhaps this might be hackable...
  • There's an app for that.... "Navier HUD Navigation Free" from the Play Store. I wouldn't see my self using a HUD in a bright hot sunny day...and
    if was to use the HUD, it's better to use it during the night....
  • Thanks. Too bad someone hasn't figured out how to just invert the existing display, so that you could still use Google Maps, rather than having to provide their own navigation system. I've used some of the other HUD apps, like SpeedHUD, but they don't provide the information I want to see. And as you point out, in daylight these solutions are all useless - there isn't a phone out there with a bright enough display to overcome the ambient light/glare that hits the windshield. If there was a piece of film that you could place on the windshield that would help with reflectivity then perhaps a workable solution could be found.
  • The very first paragraph, "and beams pertinent navigation information on to a small screen attached to your car windshield or to an included reflector screen."
  • I drive a lot and in heavy traffic I would love this having that info displayed in front of me so I do not have to take my eyes off the road.
  • I've seen a few apps that include a "HUD mode" where they just invert the screen. The big thing they're adding here is the piece of special film to go on your window to make it more visible. My 99 Pontiac GTP has a HUD (hardly a high end car!) and while I initially thought it was just a neat gimmick I have to admit that I quickly found I really liked it and miss it in my other vehicles. In there it's just speed and CD track/stereo status though so it's not very useful. Having navigation available like that would be great. The one big gotcha with HUD's I've experienced is that my polarized sunglasses block the HUD in my car so it's really only useful at night. Wonder if this will have the same deficiency.
  • My wife has an '08 GMC Acadia with the HUD and I can use polarized glasses with it without problems.
    I like the idea of a heat resistant display that can be used without worrying about the Summer sun causing problems.
  • No streaming Netflix....NO HUD! Back to the drawing board Garmin. Posted via Android Central App
  • You probably shouldn't watch Netflix while driving.
  • The Navier HUD Navigation app from play store does the job!
  • I need to see what the app looks like and the features it offers.
    I also need to see if they are going to try to nickle and dime me at every turn. (pun intended)
  • What else will it display? Garmin must move fast before this HUD stuff spreads and costs less elsewhere
  • I love the concept of a HUD. But this isn't the solution i'm looking for. A HUD projector [this appears to be limited in what it can project] that can project what is on my device screen onto the windshield. At this price I would be better off buying a stand alone Garmin device with a huge screen.
  • I would pick this up in a heartbeat if it was: A) Less than $100 (even $99) and B) It worked with Google maps.