Ahead of the game


Australian T3 - - SELECT -

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)

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