Latest Exploride News
Dec 4, 2019
Crowdwonder February 1, 2017 Let’s face it — not only is texting and driving at the same time dangerous, it’s illegal in most places. It’s harsh, but if you’re using phone while you’re driving cars, you’re putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk. But we all do it or are at least tempted to check our phone every time that it buzzes. Navdy set out to solve that problem. Navdy built a heads up display that sits on the dash, above the steering wheel, of your existing car. You can receive notifications, change your music and get directions on the HUD without ever having to take your eyes off the road. The Navdy Aftermarket Heads Up Display About Navdy – HUD for Your Car Navdy combines a best in class heads up display monitor with a small device that pairs with your cellphone as well as your car’s OBD port. The result is a device that gives you maps, phone and SMS notifications, music and car info all projected onto a screen that sits on your dash and is visible day or night, in any weather. The maps are powered by Google so you great navigation and the ability to avoid traffic. For music, you can use Pandora, Google Play, Spotify or Apple Music. You can get notifications displayed and interface with Apple Siri or Google Now. There are two ways to interface the Navdy system. It includes a gesture recognition system so that you can swipe your hand in front of it to navigate through its applications. You can use a small wheel that they call the Navdy Dial that attaches to your steering wheel, allowing you to push and spin through the menus of the Navdy. Navdy sits on top of your dash and projects information in front of you while you drive. Navdy History Highway1 Incubator – Initial Success Navdy started in 2013 when Doug Simpson and Karl Guttag went that took the idea through Highway1 , which is a San Francisco based incubator for hardware startups based. After defining the product, they whipped up an explainer video with the help of Sandwich Video . It was a pretty big Internet sensation. In fact that original video has been viewed almost two million times on YouTube. As a results, Navdy skipped the usual Kickstarter / Indiegogo route and did preorders straight from their website. It was a smashing success and the company managed to snag $6 million in preorders, more than enough money to fund the product development and production ramp up. Doug Simpson, Navdy’s CEO stated at the time, “we optimistically hoped that we might get $500,000 to $1 million. We ended up with $6 million in orders.” In December of 2016, Navdy was featured on Ellen’s twelve days of Giveaways. Navdy Delayed it’s Initial Launch to Make a Better Product Navdy had some troubles bringing the product to market. They missed their target date for launch, delaying by months. Doug Simpson, the CEO, wrote a note to their initial backers stating, “From the way information is presented, the clarity of the image, the flexibility of the gesture recognition to the was Navdy sits on your car’s dashboard, we are obsessing over every detail to make sure it’s just right. It’s very painful to disappoint with later-than-expected shipments, but we also want to be careful not to disappoint people when they actually receive the product. We’re very focused on making sure the user experience is everything we promised and more.” They finally starting shipping units to backers in 2016 and hit Amazon late in 2016 too. The initial price for backers was $249, so the backers ended up with a really good dealer, considering that the Amazon launch price was $799. Harman Investment – What’s Next for Navdy? In November of 2016, Harman International made a large investment in Navdy, although a number wasn’t announced it’s speculated that it’s around $15 million to $20 million. Harman is a tier one auto supplier (it’s customers include GM, Tesla and others). In fact, it’s in-car audio and media products are in more than 25 million vehicles. For the investment, Harman will start distributing co-branded Navdy / Harman devices. A few days after the Navdy deal, Harman was acquired by Samsung. The media has speculated that Samsung is looking for new markets, as it’s smartphone sales slip due to the Note 7 fiasco. The connected car market is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2025. In 2016, Harman sold almost $5 billion to the automotive market. That probably means that you’ll start seeing the Navdy system built right into in new cars. The Samsung acquisition might increase Navdy’s Android capabilities in time, although Samsung’s claiming that Harman will be run independently. The Navdy’s Features What’s in the Box Navdy’s packaging is obviously inspired by unboxing Apple product – with everything in a secure place. It has that same luxury, high quality feeling that Apple packaging gives you. Here’s what’s in the box: The Navdy unit Navigating with Navdy’s maps. Installation The first step is to download the Navdy app on your iPhone or Android device from the iPhone app store or Google Play, respectively. It’s free. The Navdy unit goes on your dashboard. The power cable goes into your vehicle’s OBD II port where it will receive power and data from your car. You can fasten the cable down with the provided cable clips. You may have never noticed your OBD-II port in your vehicle before but almost every newer vehicle has one. Here is a great tool to help you find your OBD port. We thought that the cabling might be a bit unsightly, but it hasn’t been a problem. The cord is quite thin and the clips are good, plus the dash is generally out of the way of your vision anyway. The cords tuck nicely into crevices in your car. If you have a beige or cream interior, you may notice it more but in a dark interior vehicle, it blends in well. The Navdy Dial is attached to your steering wheel during installation. The dial is strapped to the steering wheel. The Navdy unit itself is placed in front of the steering wheel, below the hood. Three different mount configurations are provided, allowing you to pick the best mount for your vehicle. The setup guide walks you through the process for each mount. Once you’ve picked your mount, Navdy walks you through how to angle the lens for the perfect fit and how to tuck all of the cables out of site, using provided cable clips. Next you fire up the Navdy. The last step is to throw the battery in the Navdy dial and strap it to your steering wheel. Then you just have to pair the app with your device and you’re ready to roll. Navdy has a short video that walks you through the installation process. Note that Navdy doesn’t have a microphone or speakers. Rather, it uses your phone’s bluetooth to connect to your car. That may be a problem for older cars that don’t allow you to play audio via Bluetooth or don’t have a microphone. Almost every newer car will have these features. If you don’t have a bluetooth to your car sound system, it can play through your phone’s speaker. Display The Navdy display is really just a very high quality projector that throws an image onto a tiny screen. According to Navdy, the projector will lasts for 25,000 hours, which is nearly three years if you were running it 24 hours a day. If you drove with Navdy for 2 hours every day, it could last for 30 years. The Navdy screen looks great in all conditions. The screen is fairly private if you have someone in the car with you. Your front seat passenger will have a difficult time reading the screen, although people sitting in the backseat behind will be able to read see the screen a little better. The screen is very bright and there are virtually no complaints about being able to see it. In fact, Navdy claims that it’s 40 times brighter than your Smartphone and we believe them. It will dim automatically, day or night as reacts to the onboard light sensor. The only complaint that we’ve heard about the lighting adjustment is that it’s too sensitive, sometimes changing too much. It’s a minor issue though that will likely be fixed as the firmware updates (automatically). Maps and Navigation Navdy uses Google data to build their heads up display maps. The maps and navigation come from Google Maps, so you’ll get the same quality of data that you expect from Google. That’s good news because it’s the best navigation that we’ve ever seen. However, it doesn’t use the Google Maps app on your phone. Navdy built their own mapping application because you need to see through the maps. There are a few minor complaints about the mapping and navigation app. First of all, right now it only shows a top down view, not the first person view that many navigation systems, which isn’t a big deal for us. The other issue that people are reporting is that the map doesn’t smooth scrolling as you’re moving, instead it jerks every time that you change positions, which should be a pretty minor problem that will undoubtedly be cleaned up in a future firmware update. Navdy uses lots of the data to try to make intelligent decisions on your behalf. For instance, if you’re running low on gas and on your way to a meeting, it will route you to go by a gas station and remind you to stop. When they get it right, it feels like living in the future! Note that because of the Google Maps integration, Navdy monitors traffic and will reroute you around congestion which is a rally useful feature that can save you some time and frustration. Messages, Calendar & Notifications Getting a call on the Navdy. Notifications are available from Facebook, Whatsapp, Slack, weather and more. You can view directions and notifications together. The notifications come on in the right hand side of the screen, while the main screen stays to the left. You can dismiss the notifications with the wheel or using a gesture. We were worried that all of the notifications and messages will be too distracting. But the notifications are infinitely configurable so it wasn’t too overwhelming. You can reply to your messages using Siri or Google Play. Although it doesn’t technically use Navdy to do so, it works well to see a notification and quickly reply to it using your voice. It also syncs with your phone’s calendar to give you notifications about appointments and to suggest routes to you, much llike Android or iOS sometimes does. Music They have integrated the major music services – Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Google Play. You can configure the Navdy to show the current album and track. You can use the wheel and gestures to change the song, fast forward, replay, etc. It works well and makes it far safer to change the music than trying to do it on your phone. Navdy integrates with Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and Apple Music. Car Data from your OBD Port (Dash Mode) It’s important to know that the data the HUD can get from your car is limited by your vehicle’s OBD-II data. If you have an older car, these features may be a bit limited. But generally, Navdy gets your vehicle’s speed, real time MPG, fuel range, RPM, compass and even some warnings for things like engine failure or tire pressure. Using the app, you can configure what you see in your heads up display. Navdy reads data from your vehicle’s OBD-II port. Configuring the Navdy In fact, it is very configurable which is great because you don’t want all of this data to look at while you’re driving. You only want the projections that are important to the driver. By using the app on your device, you can choose which data to get from various applications. They refer to these as glances. They’re basically the widgets that you would like to see in your Navdy views. The views are easy to navigate with gestures of the wheel (people tend to use the wheel more, but the gestures work well too once you get the hange of it). In addition to choosing which widgets appear on your HUD, you can also choose which applications are able to interrupt you with notifications. It’s pretty important to not turn all of these on. It can be distracting and annoying to see everything if you get a lot of messages, just like your phone. Audio and Video Both audio and wifi are used by the Navdy. Audio is streamed from your phone’s music apps and incoming calls using Bluetooth. Wifi is used to stream things like maps and notifications. You can use your phone’s output through bluetooth or an auxilary audio port to your car’s speakers or you can just use your phone’s internal speakers. User Interface – Dial & Gestures Most people end up using the wheel because it works so well. Gestures do work once you learn them, but they don’t seem to be as convenient as simply turning the wheel. Interacting with Google Play or Siri is also really easy on the Navdy. Navdy integrates with Siri and Google Play. Navdy’s Competitors We took a quick look at other HUDs on the market to see which display hud is the best. Navdy versus Anker Roav We put the Anker Roav device first, because it will likely be the closest competitor when it arrives on the market. They are in stealth mode, only teasing us with a few videos. They’re referring to it as a “Dashtop Computer”. Feature wise, it looks to be pretty close to the Navdy, adding 4G connectivity to its capabilities. You can see the teaser video that they released in November of 2016 here. Viewer Warning: the following clip contains a curated Brooklyn hipster couple’s lifestyle that may make you sick on green with envy. We’re recommending that you wait on this product (which should be easy since it isn’t real yet!). It’s vaporware for now and could be in the same state that Navdy was a few years ago. We’ll update this space as more details become available and write a full review once the world can get it’s hands on it. Hudify takes a low fi approach to the Heads up display, using a mirror instead of a screen. Navdy versus Hudify While the Hudify is not an exact competitor, the Hudify is a neat concept. Essentially, it is a mirror for your phone. Instead of creating a whole projector and ecosystem around your phone, you just open an app called Navmii (free in the app store) and lie the Hudify down on a stand sitting on your dash. It is reflected with a mirror in front of you while you drive. They have partner (or are owned by — it’s unclear) their “sister company” Navmii that provides the app. While the result is undoubtedly not as good, it’s 5% of the price (currently available for preorder under $50). You won’t get the music integration, the OBD-II stuff, gestures, the dial, etc. and it may be difficult to see at times but you’ll get navigation. You can preorder yours at gethudify.com . We’re also expecting to do a full review of the Hudify once it becomes available. The IScout is a Kickstarter project that we’re tracking. It’s heavily inspired by Navdy. Navdy versus iScout The iScout by Spadetechs is another Kickstarter project. The project started in May of 2016 when they raised $79,286 of a $50,000 goal from 208 backers before the campaign finished on June 26, 2016. The iScout is a little bit short on details but it seems to have feature parity with Navdy. The marketing is also very similar, but less polished. Also, it includes a Dashcam. It also has a photochromic screen. There hasn’t been an update since November 2016 and speculation on Kickstarter is that the iScout is dead. We’ll update this page as information becomes available. Carloudy takes an E-Ink approach to the Heads up display for your car. Navdy versus Carloudy The Carloudy seems to take a hybrid approach between the Navdy and the Hudify and seems to be a promising unit if it ever makes it to market. It uses the Hudify’s mirror display approach, seemingly to keep costs down while still using the OBD-II port to get vehicle data and has a custom app as well. There’s no word of music integrations however. We’re watching the Carloudy and seeing where it’s going to go. Exploride has made a slick video and made a splash on Indiegogo. But they have yet to deliver. Navdy versus Exploride The Exploride is the last in a series of aftermarket HUD’s that started on a Crowdfunding site (Indiegogo this time) and set out to copy the Navdy (and the addition of a few features). Sadly, they have yet to deliver. They still claim to be shipping early in 2017 and it seems to be pretty close to the Navdy in terms of design philosophy, as well as capabilities. We’ll update this as things change with the Exploride. Frequently Asked Questions about Navdy Is the Navdy portable? The navdy is portable and is easy to swap between cars, stowaway or take with you to prevent theft. What if I live in a very hot, cold, damp or dry area? Built to withstand heat, humidity and freezing temperatures New features update automatically Will the bulb ever go out? The projector lasts for 25,000 hours! So if you drove with Navdy for 2 hours every day, it could last for 30 years. Is the Navdy legal everywhere? Thre are hundreds of thousands of built-in HUDs sold in new vehicles last year. Navdy is no different from them, in terms of legality. That said, Navdy notes that the onus is on the driver to comply with laws in the jurisdiction that they’re driving on. So caveat emptor. Does it work in bad weather situations? Believe it or not, low visibility actually makes the HUD easier to see. In heavy rains and blizzards, you won’t have a problem seeing the display. What data will I get from car? The information available to Navdy through the OBD-II port varies depending on the make and model of your car and what your car’s manufacturer makes available through the OBD-II port. Will It Run other apps? No. They don’t want to break any laws so they have to control what it displays. They may open it up down the road to third party apps, but you have to work with the Navdy apps right now. Further Resources This is a somewhat boring review but thorough review that shows the software in action.