Head-up displays are usually the preserve of expensive luxury cars. However Garmin has shown off a portable head-up display system that can project driving information on a virtual display that appears to be floating inside your windscreen. What’s more, it can be added to any vehicle, no matter how old or janky.
The Garmin HUD is a small aftermarket device, about the size of a mobile phone, that sits on your dashboard — just above your instrument panel. Images from its vacuum fluorescent display are reflected off your windscreen via a bundled strip of transparent film or a reflector lens that attaches to the device itself, giving the impression that there is a display floating directly in the driver’s line of sight.
The display has a huge brightness level of 7,700cd/m2 (an iPhone 5 is only around 500 cd/m2) which is enough to ensure the HUD screen is visible at night, and during the day when the device has to compete with higher levels of ambient light.
The Garmin HUD offers most of the features you’d expect from a traditional head-up display. The system shows turn-by turn instructions, distance to next turn, current speed and speed limit, estimated time of arrival, what lane you should be in for your next manoeuvre and speed limit warnings, although you’ll need to connect it to a compatible Garmin sat-nav or Navigon app on your smart phone to achieve this functionality.
The Garmin HUD will cost a fairly reasonable $129.99 when it arrives later this summer. There’s no word as to whether it’ll be available here in the UK, but we can’t wait to get our hands on one if and when it does become available.
More as we get it.