In-vehicle infotainment systems on newer cars increasingly offer access to your favorite media and navigation apps, thanks to systems like CarPlay and Android Auto, but older cars from even just a few years ago can still feel stuck in a connected tech first gear. Hudly, which debuted on Kickstarter today, wants to change that with an easy-to-install aftermarket heads-up display (HUD) add-on that won’t break the bank.
The system features three parts, including a projector that mounts at the top of your windshield near your rear-view mirror, and a transparent glass display that attaches down closer to the steering wheel in your line of sight, along with a tether that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port (located under the steering wheel in most cars made since 1996) to gather info about your car’s speed, fuel levels and more. And while that combo alone can provide a decent amount of info, Hudly’s real potential comes in being able to show you the iOS and Android apps you already know and love, including Waze, Google Maps and more.
Hudly connects to iPhone 4 and newer iOS devices, as well as Android phones, via an HDMI input. That means you’ll also need a Lightning-to-HDMI adapter for iPhones, and an MHL capable for Android devices. This will allow it to mirror your screen to show whatever you want on the transparent glass display, which is great for letting you do things you can’t do out of the box on CarPlay, for instance, like use mapping or navigation software not made by Apple.
With great power comes great responsibility, and Hudly’s power to display any app on your phone means that it’s up to the driver to exercise caution regarding what they do and don’t show on the screen. That’s nothing new, however, when it comes to aftermarket infotainment: installers have been putting parking brake override switches alongside in-dash systems from the likes of Pioneer, Alpine and others for years. Shhh.
Hudly says it’s already successfully completed product design and is ready for production at scale, hence the need for the funds from the Kickstarter campaign. It’s targeting December 2016 as the delivery date for its first backer reward units, which are currently available starting at $179. Other HUD solutions like Navdy hope to offer similar and given the increased interest in car tech in general, there’s likely to be a lot more that follow this train of thought.