How Head-Up Display Will Change Your Life

How Head-Up Display Will Change Your Life

January 20, 2016 Written by Mark
How Head-Up Display Will Change Your Life
Augmented reality is getting bigger all of the time. Google Glass experimented with it, Microsoft's Hololens, and the Oculus Rift, all offer their own version of augmented reality, but all are also wearable technology. What about non-wearable tech? What about in-car technology?
 
The idea behind the development of in-car head-up display (HUD) was the notion that it is safer to see information where the eyes naturally fall when driving, and not off to one side or on the dashboard. Rather than having to take their attention off the road, drivers can see all the information they could want through the windscreen, projected a few meters ahead of them. It is a novel and useful idea, and one that has undergone a large amount of development in recent times.
 
Third-party HUD has existed for a few years. This all started with iPhone apps that reflect their images onto the windscreen. These were fairly basic, but in the past six months further technology has existed in the form of projectors putting the information a few meters in front of the driver.
 
This is essentially safer, however, other distractions do exist elsewhere in the car. This is why some of the later developments for HUD, tools like Navdy, connect with mobile phones. That way they can display (and read out) phone communications, opened with either motion control or voice activation. This makes phones far safer in the car as they are only used by proxy and not directly interacted with.
 
Developments like Navdy are revolutionary, allowing for HUD to be displayed in any model of car. It simply sits on the dashboard, projecting an image ahead of the driver for them to see. It makes driving easier and safer.
 
Manufacturer wise, Mercedes is amongst the first manufacturers to put HUD into their cars as a built in option. This allows the driver to have the benefit of their sat-nav and dashboard on the windscreen as opposed to just on the dash. Like with Navdy it is possible for a mobile phone to be integrated into the system so that different text messages and calls can be displayed on the surface of the windscreen as opposed to distracting the driver. Audi, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Hyundai have all invested in HUD systems for future development.
 
The inbuilt HUDs offer a wider potential than third-party apps or tech. They can utilise the whole windscreen, even highlighting important things the driver passes such as street signs. It can act as an early warning system due to the technology being integrated with the car. The HUD and car act as one as opposed to two separate technologies.
 
Commercially, HUDs come down to the budget and preference of their audience. Apps, third-party developments, and manufactured HUDs offer a mixture of features to suit the needs of every driver.
 
At the moment, HUD is in an interesting place. The key, and some non-key, distractions are put directly in front of a driver where they can be observed safely and responded to appropriately. Rather than reaching in the pocket to turn off a ringing mobile or push the ‘silent’ button, it appears on the windscreen where it can be ignored or answered accordingly. Rather than looking left or right, all of the car key statistics are displayed before the eyes of the driver.
 
HUD promises some interesting developments in the next few years. At the moment concept cars show other potential upgrades for the future of head-up display. These include rear view and side cameras projecting their view onto the windscreen. This removes a driver's blind spot and ensures a clear image of the space around the car. Innovations like these are not only safer for those in the car but also safer for the road as a whole.
 
HUD can make drivers more aware of the road and of how they drive. It can encourage drivers to be greener and save fuel costs.
 
No matter the direction that HUD takes, no matter what they decide to include from a technological perspective, we can be sure of one thing: HUD will revolutionise driving one way or another. It can change the way people drive forever.

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