Navdy is another attempt at bringing the crazy future of transparent computer screen overlays onto your car dashboard. The others previewed so far like HeadsUP and Garmin project notifications and handy GPS directions but unfortunately still require the driver to pick up their phone and handle it separately. That’s still a giant safety no-no.
Navdy’s dashboard interface lets you control your phone directly using touchless gestures and your voice. One gesture is the swipe which is exactly the same motion to delete or respond to any notifications you do on your phone already. You also use swipes to accept and end calls.
Now if only this could fly
Navdy is an extension of iOS or Android so voice commands simply lean on their respective existing and exhaustive ecosystem. Moreover, Navdy also lets you interact with the phone’s native capabilities, so you could change your iTunes playlist or ask for directions on Google Maps like you would directly to your phone.
In motion, the Navdy displays all this extra information directly but inconspicuously in front of the driver. Gestures also don’t require anything but a lifted finger or two from the steering wheel. All in all, it really could bring safe simultaneous driving and handphone usage to the general consumer – especially the consumers who can’t afford a BMW 3 series.
The Navdy is slotted for an early 2015 release and though tantalisingly priced at USD$299 if bought within the next 30 days the retail price is supposed to be USD$499. Though it’s not a trivial investment it’s much cheaper than the alternative. Early adopters also get the product earlier and can give input to which apps Navdy should support. It also ships internationally for a fairly trivial extra USD$10 so it’s refreshingly not America-centric.
The distraction of a tiny screen may still present some safety concerns but it’s a huge improvement over actually taking your eyes and hand off the road as many still do.