Parallel Parking with Augmented Reality

Clever use of Augmented Reality: parallel parking.

Using the AirMeasure app to simplify parallel parking.

Might be handy for drivers who are still learning how to park 🙂

AirMeasure →

Driving Navdy, a (short) Review

Back in August 2014 I pre-ordered a Navdy. Last week, 2 years later than expected, my unit finally arrived. Was this long wait worth the while? YES!

Navdy?

The Navdy is an aftermarket “Head-Up Display” for your car. Where your Bluetooth-enabled car radio acts as an audio extension to your smartphone, the Navdy acts as a visual extension to it.

The product consists of the Navdy Display itself, and the Navdy Dial. They connect to each other via Bluetooth.

On one end you plug the Navdy Display into your car’s ODB-II port – a port that’s default in about every car – and on the other end you connect your smartphone to it (again via Bluetooth) using the Navdy App.

Using the Navdy Dial you can scroll through the menus, make selections, etc. Gestures are also supported for certain actions: wave left to engage, wave right to discard. Audio commands – used to getting things done that aren’t accessible via the Navdy menus, such as sending a text message – are processed via Siri/Google Assistant.

What’s to like?

One week in and I must say the device is a blessing for my old car – a car that’s over 10 years old with “electric windows” being it’s only thing of comfort/luxury. Thanks to the Navdy I now have a rich console in my car, a default feature to be found in modern cars.

Sidenote: A friend of mine joked that my car is now worth double the price it was before. He might be right, actually.

The Navdy is a robust device I must say, it’s production quality is really good. Manipulating it via the Navdy Dial is easy and the menus are intuitive. The Navdy Display works fine in both dark and very bright weather/lighting conditions, and the Bluetooth connection between the Dial and smartphone Just Works™.

Installation is also very easy as you just have to plug it into your car’s ODB-II port. If you can plug your phone into its charger, you can also install the Navdy – It’s that easy.

What’s to dislike?

What the videos don’t show you is that the glass panel of the Navdy Display itself tends to vibrate whenever you hit a bump or glitch in the road … which is always, basically. It’s not troublesome, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Unfortunately the fuel level gauge isn’t working for me. I guess my car’s software doesn’t allow reading it via the ODB-II port. The RPM gauge however works just fine 🙂

Anything missing?

One thing that I would like to see with the Navdy is FaceTime support. I think it’d be possible because that sure looks like a camera on the right hand side of the Navdy Display, not?

Some minor tweaks would also be handy. Dismissing an incoming text message for example dismisses it on the Navdy, yet it still shows up on the lock screen of my iPhone. Ideally the one action should be duplicated onto the other device.

Should you buy it?

If your car sports a GPS unit and HUD/console then I’d say no, as the Navdy offers no extra value in that case. If you car does not have those features, and you plan on driving it a few more years, then I can recommend it.

The Best Head-Up Display For Your Car | Navdy →

Navdy feels like driving in the future

Navdy is a breakthrough Head­Up Display (HUD) aftermarket car console that allows drivers to access their smartphone’s apps while keeping their eyes on the road. Navdy combines a high quality projection display with voice and gesture controls to create a safer, highly intuitive driving experience. Combining advanced display technology with touch­less controls means drivers no longer need to fumble around with their phone to navigate, communicate or control their music.

Navdy →

That’s a referral link above. If you pre-order one, I’ll get a $30 refund.

How to find your stolen car

taxi

If your car is ever stolen, your first calls should be to every cab company in the city. You offer a $50 reward to the driver who finds it AND a $50 reward to the dispatcher on duty when the car is found. The latter is to encourage dispatchers on shift to continually remind drivers of your stolen car. Of course you should call the police too but first things first. There are a lot more cabs than cops so cabbies will find it first — and they’re more frequently going in places cops typically don’t go, like apartment and motel complex parking lots, back alleys etc. Lastly, once the car is found, a swarm of cabs will descend and surround it because cabbies, like anyone else, love excitement and want to catch bad guys.

Hat tip! Via kottke