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.