posted 5 years ago

Garmin Head-Up Display Sat-Nav

Garmin HUD – How It Works

Garmin has created a head-up sat-nav projector that can easily be fitted to cars. Let us consider how it works. The system incorporates a black rectangular box which is somewhat larger than a traditional sat-nav. This is placed on the dashboard close to the windscreen so it can project images onto either a transparent film on the glass or a reflector lens. The latter is a plastic surface that is mounted vertically to the unit. The projector, however, does not contain mapping data so this comes via smartphone software such as Garmin StreetPilot for the iPhone or NAVIGON for iPhone, Android, or Windows 8. The mobile phone must therefore be connected to the projector via Bluetooth. The motorist then selects a destination from the phone so the head-up display can reveal which turn to take, which lane is suitable and the road's speed limit, etc. It can also warn the motorist that safety cameras are nearby and that he/she is exceeding the legal limit. However, any audible instructions only come through the smartphone or - if this is connected to the stereo - through the vehicle's speakers. Furthermore, the intensity of the head-up image varies according to the conditions - so it is bright on a sunny day then dimmer at night. Power comes from the unit's internal battery or the car's power socket. The latter tends to take the form of a cigarette lighter.

Garmin HUD – Pros/Cons

Garmin's head-up display system has its pro/cons. Reasons to use it – according to its manufacturer – include that it presents the motorist with “futuristic looking guidance”. That is true, and having such a device on the dashboard is certainly a talking point. Secondly, the manufacturer has explained that the motorist does not have to take his/her “eyes off the road” as the image is in the line of sight. Again, this is true - but is that not the case with a traditional, windscreen mounted, sat-nav? Furthermore, the company says the system can “reduce the power consumption” of mobile phones as the screens can be switched-off while the navigation software is operating. Again, true. But despite these advantages some people might prefer one of the company's traditional alternatives. Why? Because these are single units that contain the maps so they do not rely on smartphones/external software. Some of these devices are smaller too, so they take-up less space in the car while not in use. There is also no need to fiddle with Bluetooth which some people find confusing/tedious. But still, a head-up display - clever.


are we still paying for the data are we just buying a projector

Head up display! Not a good idea, complicated enough. One would prefer a single unite traditional device that can perform better, easy and good enough to take you to your destination without hassle!

if it has to project onto a specially prepared area of windscreen is it going to be removable to prevent theft? mobile signal is not reliable enough in uk for navigation.

I cannot see any advantage whatsoever only more fiddling about "Nil Points"!

Yeh this is probably assuming most people have a smartphone. True for the most part, certainly those people who would buy this device. Nice idea, no feesable reason to not contain the mapping software though. An optional smartphone control would be more preferable.

I for one will not be buying a smartphone with all the additional cost of contracts etc. Makes it a damn expensive satnav