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Garmin launching new windscreen projection sat nav enabled by smartphone app

Satellite navigation firm Garmin has developed a new smartphone-enabled device that can project directions onto a car windscreen.

Branded the Head-Up Display (HUD) (opens in new tab), the device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and receives directions through Garmin StreetPilot for iPhone or NAVIGON mobile apps.

The projection allows guidance to be provided right within the driver's sight, without obstructing the view of the road. Garmin believes that this means the HUD can help increase safety and reduce driver distraction.

The technology will bring an end to sat navs suddenly falling from the windscreen when the suction pad comes unstuck. An attachable reflector lens which can be projected on as an alternative to the windscreen is also provided.

"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. "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."

As the sat nav depends on information gained through a smartphone rather than pre-installed maps, the HUD can warn users of traffic delays and quickly provide an updated route.

Audio directions are provided by the StreetPilot or NAVIGON app and can be set to play either through the smartphone speaker or a Bluetooth-connected car stereo.

If a passenger answers the connected phone, the HUD will continue uninterrupted for the duration of the call.

The device will be available later this year and will cost around £130.

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.