The last time you used an dedicated GPS device for navigation? In my case, I can’t even remember it. My iPhone (The Google Maps app) is getting me everywhere I need to be. In some cases however, your smartphone won’t help you. California among others, has banned smartphone use in the car. So getting turn-by-turn directions when looking at your phone is illegal. So that might be one reason you could get excited about Garmin’s new HUB, my reason is that it just looks awesome.
They build a HUD (short for head-up display) that sits on the dashboard at the base of the windshield, where it projects navigation data upward into the driver’s line of sight, either onto a transparent film affixed to the windshield glass or a reflector lens that attaches to the HUD device. Both the film and reflector lens are included with the device. It will also automatically adjust the brightness of its projections, so that the display remains visible in direct sunlight or at night.
You will still need a smartphone. The HUD’s data is provided by one of Garmin’s navigation apps, Navigon or StreetPilot, on an iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The head-up display pairs with your handset via Bluetooth to communicate with with the navigation app. Next to displaying your route, is also displays current speed and speed limit, estimated time of arrival, graphic lane guidance, traffic delays, upcoming safety camera locations and excessive speed warnings.
Garmin and others who make third-party apps that offer navigation services face an increasingly challenging market due to Apple and Google’s free options. Do I think this will get them back in the game? Not a chance. But it looks cool.