Skip to story A rendering of what the Navion could display on windshields soon. WayRay
There are plenty of ways to get directions in the car, but most have one big shortcoming. Whether you’re using a standalone GPS, in-car navi system, smartphone, the Apple Watch, or even a paper map, you have to look away from the road (you know, that thing you’re supposed to be paying attention to when driving) in order to see where you’re supposed to be going.
So how to keep your eyes on the road and not get lost? One option is the heads-up display. Increasingly common on high-end cars, these devices project things like navigation directions and current speed onto the windshield, so the driver has important information right in their field of vision. It’s a technology that’s fast spreading beyond this incarnation, though: We’ve seen screens showing ghost cars for racers, and another that uses lasers to “paint” the edge of a road on the windshield in inclement weather. Then there are these wacky augmented reality concept goggles from Mini.
One of the latest gadgets to enter the fray is something called the Navion, from Swiss firm WayRay.The videogame version of a heads-up display, from the Xbox One’s Forza Horizon 2. Forza Horizon 2
The Navion, which is still a prototype for the time being, promises to project holographic imagery onto the windshield from a small device sitting on the dashboard, so you don’t have to buy a new car equipped with the tech to reap the benefits. It throws navigation information and safety notifications right where you can see them. The navi directions look just like the arrows projected on the road in videogames like Forza Horizon 2.
It all sounds swell, except for the part where the company says the device responds to hand gestures for control. While some automakers have talked about this kind of feature, there’s little evidence it’s ready for the market, and a recent J.D. Power study showed consumers have close to no interest in waving their hands to control their vehicles. I need to use the Team America secret signal to get driving directions? No thanks.
Minus that bit, if the Navion works (and ever hits the market), it could be fantastically useful. WayRay asks interested customers to sign up for its mailing list ahead of pre-orders opening later this year.