Cell Phone Accessories Travel

Navdy lets drivers stay connected without taking their eyes off the road

The Premise. No matter how many advantages a smartphone can have in terms of communication, navigation, and information, all of these things can become dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free sets and dashboard mounts only fix part of the problem: using them still requires taking eyes off the road.

The Product. Navdy is a dashboard-mounted device, it’s true, but instead of being mounted in the center of the car’s console, Navdy goes behind the steering wheel. From there, it projects an image onto a mirror which reflects it back onto a windshield at a simulated distance of a few meters away, offering access to data about speed, direction, navigation, and incoming texts and calls without ever taking eyes off the road. Navdy is controlled with a mixture of voice recognition and hand gestures, allowing drivers to safely talk, text, and even tweet in a way that is arguably safer than any other alternative.

The Pitch. Navdy’s pitch video is an instant classic, and fans of videos for apps like Summly and Push For Pizza will recognize the humorous, casual style of the video in this introduction as well. The Web site for Navdy is standard pre-order fare, with lots of quality information and large, stylish images. The layout fits the content so well because the video does such a supreme job of entertaining and making visitors curious enough to scroll all the way through the data down to the ordering page.

The Perks. Navdy can pre-ordered at a discount, costing supporters just $299, with an expected shipping date early in 2015.

The Potential. Potential for Navdy is huge, both for its success and for future devices to reverse engineer it and add a feature here or a different UI there. Still, this feature set, the well-designed interface and interaction via voice and motion, and the combination of utility and safety will make Navdy a huge hit from soccer moms all the way up to commercial drivers. If Navdy only offered navigation tools, it would be useful enough to be a niche product, but by offering a complete front-end for any smartphone experience, there probably isn’t a single driver on the road who couldn’t make use of Navdy in their daily lives. Even better that it does all this without cluttering or obscuring all those other drivers out in the real world.