Smartphones have things pretty much covered when it comes to mobile mapping and turn by turn navigation -- most of the time it won’t even cost you a dime. Looking to stay relevant and competitive, GPS navigation companies like Garmin have had to step out of their comfort zone by selling their own smartphones apps alongside dedicated devices -- or in the case of their latest product, something that combines the two.
The new Garmin HUD connects with the company’s navigation apps to project a basic set of navigation data -- current speed, speed limit, turn arrows, distance to next turn and more -- onto your vehicle’s windshield. The result mimics a similar feature found in some expensive luxury cars, only relatively inexpensive at $130.
You’ll need to factor in an additional $29.99 for Garmin’s Navigon or StreetPilot apps on Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone 8. The head-up display will then just sit on the dashboard and communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth. By projecting only a limited, yet relevant amount of data up in the driver's line of sight, Garmin claims that the device can help increase safety by reducing distraction.
There’s no detailed map or points of interest information. But in addition to the aforementioned cues, the Garmin HUD also lets drivers know the estimated time of arrival, information about traffic delays, upcoming safety camera locations, speed limits, and gives them graphic lane guidance.
The device is powered by a 12V charging cable and has a USB port to keep your phone charged as well.