Under the HUD: Garmin's new nav system displays instructions on windshields

Garmin HUD
Stare straight ahead

Garmin is once again bringing luxury technology to the masses with its latest advancement in portable navigation.

Dubbed the Head-Up Display (HUD), Garmin's new device will work in conjunction with your smartphone navigator to provide turn-by-turn directions right on your windshield.

With HUD, gone is the clunky display unit you might use to hold your current nav system in place, and in its stead will be an overlay of where you're supposed to go next right in front of your eyes.

"HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, in a press release.

"Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price."

Keep your eyes on the road

The HUD communicates wirelessly with your smartphone's compatible Garmin or Navigon app, and displays information like distance to next turn, which direction to go, and your estimated time of arrival on a transparent film on the window or on the attached reflector lens.

The turn-by-turn audio navigation is still handled by your smartphone, though you'll no longer need to look to its screen if you happen to miss what's been said.

Should you need to take a phone call, HUD will continue displaying instructions for the current route uninterrupted.

HUD also tracks speed limits (when available) and your car's speed, and will notify you when you are driving above the limit. It's also got the ability to inform you of where traffic safety cameras are located.

Since it's connected to your smartphone and isn't relying on a default map program, HUD can also update you with traffic delays, and can advise you when to change lanes for you next maneuver.

Garmin HUD

Garmin's latest gadgetry

Garmin's device is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8, and HUD's power adapter also includes a USB port so you can charge your phone while using the device.

The smartphone's audio directions can be set to play through your car via a Bluetooth connection, and any music playing in the car will be dialed down when a new direction prompt occurs.

HUD will be available this summer for $129.99 (UK£129.99), and the Garmin website claims orders will be fulfilled in five to eight weeks.

For what it's worth, Garmin's site also makes note that the HUD hasn't been approved by the Federal Communications Commission yet, and can't be sold in the U.S. until such approval is granted.