Automotive Displays

Hudly HUD gives drivers a heads-up, even in bright daylight

Heads-up displays (HUDs) have become increasingly popular devices because they allow drivers to access valuable information and data without turning their eyes away from the road.

Hudly is a heads-up display that uses a mounted projector to access notifications, navigation and vehicle information including driving speed and gas levels. It projects the user’s smartphone content on the windshield, in his or her line of sight, and provides the ability to access favorite Android or iOS apps. Hudly works in any car that has either an On-board diagnostics (OBD)-II port or cigarette lighter adapter. The powerful projector is capable of 14,000 nits, allowing it to be viewable in even bright daylight, according to its makers. Hudly ships in January at future pricing of $299. But Indiegogo backers have been able to order one for a pledge starting at $199 for early birds. Its makers hope to raise $50,000 by Oct. 28.

The main challenge facing Hudly is that there are so many similar products, including the similar-sounding Hudway Glass. Features that might give Hudly an edge over at least certain rival devices is its optical glass combiner that its makers say makes the device’s image crisp. The special coating and curved lens improves optics and displays a virtual image size of 10.8 inches that appears as if it it’s 7 feet ahead of the driver. A potential negative is that Hudly is only compatible with a limited number of smartphones: iPhone 4+ and higher or Android OS 4.2 and higher.

Automotive Connected Objects

YAB Bluetooth dongle helps find your car in a crowded parking lot

Two of the most frustrating parts of parking a car are not getting back to it before a parking meter has expired and not being able to remember where the vehicle was parked. The latter is especially the case when it’s a huge, crowded parking lot.

YAB is a small USB dongle that reminds users when their parking meters are going to expire and keeps track of where they’ve parked their cars. It automatically saves the car’s location on the user’s Android smartphone or iPhone when the engine shuts off. YAB communicates using Bluetooth Low Energy. YAB ships in December. Future pricing isn’t provided. But Indiegogo backers can order one for a $29 pledge. Its makers reached their targeted funding of $11,916 July 30.

This is a device that may appeal to any consumer who has ever received a parking ticket because they didn’t get back to their car before the meter expired, or who has been unable to find their car in a crowded lot late at night after seeing a movie or concert.

Automotive Connected Objects

FenSens sensor protects your fender

Many accidents occur when parking a vehicle, often because it is hard to see exactly how much space one has when backing up into a spot. Parking sensors significantly cut down on such accidents, but the vast majority of cars don’t have them and they can be too costly for many consumers to afford.

patent-claimedFenSens is an affordable wireless, connected and sensor-based parking assistance system that works in conjunction with an app for Android and iOS mobile devices. The patent-pending device gets attached to a vehicle’s front or rear license plate frame and is easy to install in less than five minutes. FenSens enables uses to see (through a visual display), hear (through beeps), and feel (via vibration) any near-by objects in a driver’s blind spots from the convenience of a mobile phone screen. An alarm buzzer sounds if FenSens is tampered with and the device will allow users to register it with specific phones, making it useless for unverified mobile devices.

Automotive Connected Objects

IScout lets drivers scout out the road ahead safely

Heads-up displays (HUDs) are becoming increasingly popular devices because they allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road while getting navigation and other useful information about their cars and the road ahead.

patent-claimedIScout is a standalone, patent-pending HUD that provides information including car speed, fuel level and GPS navigation as a floating virtual image in front of the vehicle. It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS mobile device app, enabling iScout to also display incoming calls, messages, reminders and social media content.

Automotive Connected Objects

TrapTap keeps you updated on speed traps while keeping your eye on the road

Speed traps have long been the bane of drivers’ existence, especially when traveling on unfamiliar roads while on vacation or on business. More recently, red light cameras and school zones with cameras that record speeding have only made driving even more frustrating for some people.

TrapTap is a small, disc-shaped dashboard-mounted device that alerts drivers of speed traps, red light cameras and school zones to decrease the chances of getting fined. The device uses Bluetooth Low-energy (BLE) to communicate with Android and iOS smartphones via a free app and GPS mapping software on the phone.

Automotive Connected Objects Imaging

RecSmart social dash cam streams the good times as they roll

Dashboard cameras provide a pretty good way to capture what happens while driving a car –- especially if there is an accident and evidence is needed to provide proof of what happened.

RecSmart is a connected, social dash cam with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS that connects to the user’s smartphone and continuously records whatever happens during a drive and saves it onto the included 8-GB microSD card. It collects data including the vehicle’s position, speed and time –- all while shooting HD video and making it easy to share video and photos from the road with the user’s social networks.

Automotive Connected Objects

Radiomize helps drivers keep their eyes on the road

editors-choiceDistracted driving remains a major problem that causes many needless accidents. Dashboard mounts for smartphones don’t really resolve the issue because they still require drivers to take their eyes off the road to look at their devices. Heads-up displays, meanwhile, tend to be costly, typically focus only on driving-specific information, and have raised their own set of safety concerns.

patent-claimedRadiomize is a steering wheel touchpad cover that sends commands to smartphones via patented gesture control technology. In addition to taking control of smartphone functions, it reads aloud text and social messages, as well as news that would be of interest to the driver.

Automotive Cell Phone Accessories Displays

Hudway offers a simple cheap way to look into the future of driving displays

editors-choiceA head-up display (HUD) can be a handy device in a car, especially when facing low visibility conditions. Such devices provide valuable data for drivers and, because they display information on a transparent screen in front of the windshield, drivers don’t have to look away from the road to see that data. However, most HUDs are expensive, whether they’re purchased built into a luxury car or bought separately as an aftermarket product.

patent-claimedHudway Glass is an affordable alternative –- a car accessory that gets placed on a car dashboard and transforms smartphones into HUDs in conjunction with several mobile applications. Users place their smartphone on the accessory’s cradle with the display facing up. Its attached, transparent optical glass reflects the data received from the accompanying Android and iOS smartphone apps, allowing a driver to see road maps and other needed information just by looking straight ahead where the windshield is.

Automotive Connected Objects Imaging Safety

CarVi driving assistant lets you keep more eyes on the road

editors-choiceMany folks have been tempted by the high-tech safety features in newer cars, but wish there was a way to get them into their existing vehicles economically.

That is the goal of the makers of CarVi, a small, circular black driving assistance device that attaches easily via a bracket onto the windshield of just about any car. The device adds an extra set of eyes, monitoring a driver’s position in a lane and the location of the car in front of it. CarVi warns drivers if they are too close to the car in front, and if it senses any potential trouble will issue audible and visual warnings.

The device comes equipped with a camera capturing 720p HD video that CarVi analyzes in real time. Owners can set it to record 40-second to one-minute video onto a memory card whenever certain events occur, such as tailgating incidents. The user can then transfer that video to an Android or iOS smartphone for viewing later. Alternatively, CarVi can function as a full-time recorder if the driver desires. CarVi can also provide suggestions via the accompanying app on how to improve driver skills after the car is turned off. CarVi will cost $299 when it ships in August. Its makers are hoping to raise $100,000 by March 20.

The device holds some promise, especially for elderly drivers and the parents of new drivers. But similar products, such as Truvolo and Zubie, have already offered the same kind of functionality with varying degrees of success. While the warnings could indeed help drivers avoid accidents, it remains to be seen if many drivers will actually be willing to hear tips about how to improve their driving once they turn the engine off.



RoofScope mountable mirror keeps an eye on your cargo

RoofScopeCarrying items on a car roof rack is convenient when a pick-up truck isn’t an option, but pricy if the driver forgets that the cargo is up there and zooms through a height restriction warning. Such was the case for a couple of hungry cyclists whose focus was overcome by their growling stomachs and the restaurant that was just up ahead. Hence: the invention of RoofScope. The mountable mirror acts as a constant reminder for the driver to mind height restriction warnings, and also provides for a quick and easy glance to make certain that cargo is remaining secured. For £30, backers get one product and an expected delivery of November 2014.