Navdy is an upcoming device being built to help people use their smartphones more safely while they drive. The company got another round of seed funding from a group of investors that includes Upfront Ventures.
The Navdy device is supposed to project a transparent dashboard display in your car that’s controlled by hand gestures and voice commands.
The company is expected to ship the device sometime in 2015.
Navdy Shows Your Messages, Navigation
The device connects with both your iPhone and your Android smartphones, and it extends the apps you already have on your phone, like your text messaging app.
Navdy brings you something called the transparent “Heads-Up Display” (HUD), which projects information to you as if it’s just six feet in front of you.
Not only can you see texts and incoming calls, but you’ll be able to connect it to your phone’s GPS to display navigation right on the inside of your windshield.
The hand gestures appear to be relatively simple maneuvers, like swipe to the left to answer a phone call or swipe to the right dismiss a notification you don’t need to see right now.
In other words, your hands and eyes are free from grabbing your phone, fumbling with buttons or nobs, or trying to get your fingers to blindly hit the right buttons on a touchscreen.
Using the voice commands might take a little more getting used to, as you figure out the language you need to use. For instance, to send someone a text, you have to say, “Write a new text,” but to post something on Twitter, you say, “Compose a new tweet.”
How many times have you wanted to tweet while driving!?! OK, maybe that’s a bad example.
It’s also set up similar to Siri, in that you can just say, “Call Dad,” and it will call the person in your smartphone listed as Dad.
If you don’t want the texts displayed on your dashboard, you can have any notification from apps on your phone read aloud to you.
And obviously, if you have people in your car, you can choose to disable the device completely, or set it up so you have parental controls to help keep teenage drivers safe.
How Much Does Navdy Cost?
The site mentions that it retails normally for $499, but that if you pre-order now, Navdy will cost $299, and it will ship in early 2015. That’s 40-percent off for the people that order first, but you have to figure, there will likely be some issues with the early models. Granted, they’ll likely fix any issues or offer up patches and updates for free, so getting the device at a discount this big could be worth it.