Navdy Wants Your Smartphone Apps Front and Center While Driving - Seriously (Updated)

Navdy is a company hoping the buzz around Google Glass (good or bad, I suppose) will drum up pre-order sales for its new "heads-up display" technology that projects a semi-transparent image of your smartphone apps within your field of view so you can interact with your smartphone while driving. Navdy claims this technology is intended to "help drivers more safely view navigation instructions, incoming calls, and speed." However, those of us not living in La-La Land think drivers would clearly use such technology to do anything OTHER than focus on the 2,500-pound human meat maker they are commandeering at 70 miles per hour.

To have a little fun, I've posted a reality-checked version of the company's press release below. My enhancements/additions are bolded in brackets.

Enjoy!


"Google Glass for your car" available for pre-order starting today. [People paying attention to Google Glass have been seen running into walls, trees, and people, so let's put it in a car!]

SAN FRANCISCO– (August 5, 2014)—Today Navdy announced the start of its pre-order campaign for a breakthrough Head-Up Display (HUD) [HUDs date back to the '40s, so I'm not sure how this is a "breakthrough"] that allows drivers to access their smartphone’s apps while keeping their eyes on the road [because asking people to put their phones down and focus on not killing people with their car is simply too much]. Navdy combines a high-quality projection display with voice and gesture controls to create a safer, highly intuitive driving experience. ["Okay Navdy, show me what's new on Pinterest!"]

Drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident when they take their eyes off the road to look down at a touchscreen. [Do they really think it will be less likely when their smartphone display is always in front of them?] “Smartphones were never designed to be used while driving,” said Navdy co-founder and CEO Doug Simpson. “Touchscreen-based apps force you to take your eyes off the road. [Right, so how about we wait until we get there to send that tweet?] So we started by completely rethinking what the experience of using apps behind the wheel should be like [which shouldn't be at all, in my opinion]. Navdy is built from the ground up to be the safest and most intuitive way to make calls, use navigation, listen to music, or access notifications without ever looking away from the road. [Am I the only one who sees a difference between LOOKING AT the road and PAYING ATTENTION to it?]

Navdy is running a 30-day, pre-order campaign at http://navdy.com/preorder.  Navdy is planning to raise $60,000 through its pre-sales campaign to get backers on board and support initial production efforts. [Please won't somebody think of the children?!]

Navdy is the world’s first in-car platform that offers:

·       Advanced display technology:  Projects a transparent image directly within your field of view that appears to float six feet in front of your windshield so you can maintain your focus on the road while viewing navigation instructions [or you could get a GPS that says street names verbally], incoming calls [or you could use a hands-free headset], speed [or you could glance at the speedometer every now and then, which isn't a driving distraction and is already installed in your car]. It’s the same technology used by airline pilots to keep their eyes on the runway while landing an airplane. [Right, pilots are using it to fly the effing plane, NOT browse Pandora playlists!]

·       Works in any car: The device can be mounted on any car dashboard, and is powered by plugging it into the onboard computer (OBD II port), available in all cars produced since 1996. [Thankfully, most people don't know where the washer fluid goes, let alone what an OBD II port is.]

·       Intuitive touch-less gesture and voice controls: You never need to look away from the road while using Navdy. Glance-able apps are controlled with intuitive touch-less hand gestures [don't take your eyes off the road, but hands off the wheel to do gestures is A-OK!], while voice recognition lets you ask for directions. [Why can't people put in their destination before they start driving or at least while stopped? It's not that hard!] Navdy’s noise cancellation technology and wide-angle gesture sensors are specifically designed to create an optimal [distracted] driving experience.

·       All the apps you need:  Navdy works with navigation apps such as Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, and music apps such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Music, and Google Play Music. Navdy can read aloud or display notifications from text messages or social media apps [eyes on the road, brain on Facebook. That'll save lives!], subject to Parental Control settings. Navdy is compatible with iPhone (iOS 7+) and Android (4.3+) smartphones. [For once I'm glad something isn't coming to Windows Phone. Still, developers out there please support Windows Phone.]

·       Integrated with your car:  Navdy links to your car and is able to display information such as your speed, RPM, miles-to-empty, fuel economy stats, tire-pressure warning or battery-voltage warning from the car’s computer, all presented on your windshield within your field of view. [I get that these are driving-related things, but do we really need all of this stuff in front of our eyes at all times while driving? Sometimes less is more, you know?]

·       Tuned for the driver: Critical information like turn-by-turn directions and your speed do not disappear when a phone call comes in the way your navigation app disappears to the background on a smartphone when a call comes in. The information you need, when you need it, is always present and clearly within your field of view. [Drivers don't need all this information, they need to FOCUS on driving the car!]

Pricing & Availability
Backers will be able to pre-order Navdy at the introductory price of $299, a 40 percent discount from its projected retail price of $499. [Phew, at least it's too expensive for most drivers.] Backers will also be rewarded for spreading the word to their friends and family; every time someone buys Navdy from your referral [gets into an accident, hits an object, or runs over a person or animal] you’ll earn a $30 discount, which means after 10 referrals your Navdy is free! Backers will also vote on which smartphone apps and features they’d like Navdy to support when it ships in early 2015. [I'll guess the top 10 suggestions: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix, ESPN, CNN, Twitter, Pinterest, Skype, Angry Birds: Voice Control Edition]


UPDATE 8/15/2014

I've just received word from Navdy that their kickstarter is (sadly) going well, at least well enough to warrant another press release. To keep it in the spirit of the original post, my corrected version is below:

Today Navdy, the breakthrough [your windsheild] HUD that allows drivers to view information from their smartphone as a transparent image floating outside of their car’s windshield [rather than focus on avoiding objects, animals, and people], is announcing an incredible [incredibly scary] milestone. Navdy surpassed $1 million dollars in sales just one week into its pre-order campaign, hitting its original goal of $60,000 in just two hours.  Demand was so strong that during the first 24 hours of launch a Navdy device was being ordered on average every minute [coincidentally timed with the number of tweets stating that watching the awful new movie "Into The Storm" has stripped them of their will to live].

This incredible early adoption validates the company’s mission to make the experience of using smartphone apps in the car easy, safer and intuitive.  With Navdy, drivers no longer need to look down and fumble around with their phone to navigate, communicate or control their music. [Not looking down and distracted driving have nothing to do with each other.]

Navdy’s instant success can be attributed to its advanced projection display [and use of the term "Google-Glass" in its original PR], user-friendly touch-less gesture controls and comprehensive functionality. While competitors are working with auto manufacturers to build an infotainment system to be sold as expensive option packages for new cars, Navdy is the world’s first true HUD that works in the car you own on both iOS and Android [new headline, Windows Phone SAVES LIVES] and can be easily installed or shared between multiple cars [reference your car's manual to locate its OBD II port] .

This article was origianally posted on 8-6-2014, and updated on 8-15-2014.