A rear-view mirror with icons might seem like a bad idea, but the App-Tronics SmartNav 5 makes it a winning proposition. See, apart from letting you see what your bumper is doing, this doohicky uses Windows CE to add navigation, video recording and other intriguing capabilities.
What you get on the display are apps. There's a video-recorder tied to a front-facing camera as well as a Bluetooth phone connection. It can display data taken from an onboard GPS chip that can show you things like a digital speedometer as well as a performance gauge.
All-in-one driving buddy
Now, how does it do all that without blocking your view? The 5-inch screen is translucent so you can look past the icons if you so choose. It will even auto-adjust brightness depending on whether it's day or night, thus not impeding the mirror's display in any way. You can also adjust how many icons you see at a time, even limiting it to just three if that's your preference.
Hook it up to an optional radar detector and the SmartNav 5 will even show you when it detects police radar while also keeping track of recorded speed traps via a live database.
You can also leave your GPS at home as the SmartNav 5 can also be used to navigate. Just enter addresses onto the mirror via a touchscreen and away you go.
Should you take a fancy to the device, you can choose between a complete rear-view mirror replacement or a clip-on alternative that will cover your current existing mirror. Both options will need to be connected to a wired 12-volt connection.
With all the device's capabilities, you can see just why it won a Best in Show award for Mobile Electronics at the recent 2014 SEMA automotive show.