Over the short history of cars, the sun visor is probably the component that has changed the least. Sure, some have mirrors, fancy lights, and can swivel in a multitude of directions, but at the end of the day, they’re just pieces of foam covered in fabric.
The Iris HUD, a visor-mounted head-up display, hopes to bring that chunky sun blocker into the modern age.
Its laser projection system works similarly to dash-mounted HUDs, but instead of displaying information onto the windshield, information is presented on an ultra-transparent screen in front of the driver. By keeping all the data at eye level, the Iris allows you to focus on what’s important — the road.
The device works in conjunction with a bespoke smartphone app, which is accessed through a Bluetooth connection. Phone communications and applications are then routed through the Iris interface and controlled via simple hand gestures. For instance, if you receive a call while on the road, simply swipe to the left and two things happen: the call is ignored and a message is automatically sent that says, “I’m busy driving.” If you want to answer, simply swipe to the right.
The Iris also features a unique navigation system, which integrates geolocation information for a truly real-time experience. Not only will it detect red-light cameras and school zones, prompting you to drive more carefully, but it will notify the driver when they exceed the local speed limit without relying on sign recognition.
And what about that helpful sun visor, however simplistic it may be? We’d suggest sunglasses, but polarized lenses generally don’t mesh with HUDs very well. We’ll have to get back to you on that one.
The Iris HUD is reportedly ready for production, but the development team needs some financial support to kickstart the manufacturing process. To move things along, the group will launch an Indiegogo campaign on Monday, June 8.
If enough cash is raised, shipping is expected to begin in the fall of this year. The device will retail for $499, but early pledges can net you the product for $299.