One of the areas that smart/connected devices have been making a lot of progress is the car. Major companies like Google and Apple have worked their own in-car systems that new vehicles can apply as information centers and multiple smaller companies are making their own gadgets that aim to help or entertain drivers in their everyday journeys. This is why HUDWAY has taken its Glass Heads-Up Display (HUD) device to Kickstarter and managed to gather $400,000 with 7 days to go on an original $100,000 goal.
Simply put, the HUDWAY Glass is a $49 device that you mount on top of your dashboard and use instead of your smartphone for basic needs. The device features a semi-transparent display of curved glass that can display navigational information from maps, show incoming messages like texts and tweets and even play videos though the company claims users should be “properly parked before [they] start”. I am not sure how many people will adhere to those guidelines but the main goal of the device is to provide a safer alternative to using a smartphone in the car so I guess its target audience may listen.
What makes the HUDWAY Glass so intriguing is, of course, the price. At $49, the Glass provides about the same features as similar devices that cost at least $150+ more. As you might expect, the company has made some compromises so you will have to find a way to stick the Glass on your dashboard manually, for instance. With that said, the device is supposed to be very easy to set up as you just need to connect it to your smartphone via the HUDWAY app and you are good to go.
In a world where most advanced gadgets cost a pretty penny to acquire, HUDWAY wants to target a market of younger drivers who would not be able to afford a similar device under normal circumstances. The company promises that the HUD is far less distracting than using a smartphone as the driver’s eyes can glance in its direction without turning away from the road. There is always some danger with such devices but I would much rather see someone looking at a map on a HUD than trying to make sense of Google Maps while driving.