Ahead of the game
NAVDY’S FUTURISTIC HEADS-UP DRIVING DISPLAY COULD BE THE ULTIMATE IN-CAR UPGRADE FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE TECH AND CARS – BUT IS IT WORTH THE SUBSTANTIAL OUTLAY?
At T3, we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing – tech that could potentially change our lives for the better – and we might’ve just found it. Cue Navdy, a gadget for people who love driving cars. Billed as the world’s first augmented driving device (or a heads-up display, as we prefer to call it), Navdy mounts on your dash and projects a display onto a transparent screen in your line of sight, enabling you to see crucial driving data – think speed, navigation and more – with just a glance.
But why would you want that? Well, for one, it should make it quicker and easier to see what’s going on, and this should make for safer driving. And since Navdy is a hands-free system, it’s legal to use, too, meaning you won’t get a painful fine and penalty points slapped onto your licence for brandishing your phone mid-drive.
That all sounds good, but we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that something this hi-tech is the reserve of the rich and famous. Not so – you can install Navdy in almost any car, new or (relatively) old. All your car needs is an OBD-II port – a standard feature on all cars built after 2001 for petrol engines, and 2004 for diesel.
Installing Navdy is straightforward – download the app, enter your vehicle’s make and model, and it’ll show you where to plug in the connector. Then find a space on the dash behind your steering wheel to attach the mount, and snap the heads-up display in place with its magnetic connector. Once you’ve paired your phone to Navdy, it’ll automatically recognise it thereafter.
All good, then, but there’s one minor caveat: Navdy is better if you have a car stereo with Bluetooth. This enables you to hook up your phone, and Navdy, to pipe sounds – such as voice guidance and music – through your speakers. It’s not a deal breaker, as you could just use your phone’s built-in speaker, but it’s certainly something to bear in mind if the most modern thing about your in-car entertainment is FM radio.
By owning a Navdy, you can bring an ordinary car kicking and screaming into the modern day, without it looking like you ram-raided a Halfords store. But with an asking price of $667, is it really worth having? With a degree of scepticism, you might think Navdy is just a glorified sat nav – but it can do so much more. The most obvious of these features is the heads-up display. By projecting
an image onto a transparent screen, you can see all of your driving data without taking your eyes off the wheel. It can, occasionally, distract if you’re
ABOVE Navdy is a stealthy bit of tech, blending in nicely with your car’s dash (unless, that is, it’s bright red)