Whether they project directly onto your windshield or use a dedicated screen, head-up displays (HUDs) are pretty cool. Inspired by military aircraft, most versions offer navigation and some smartphone capabilities, but few are as comprehensive as we’d like — or cost thousands of dollars as options on new car models.
Exploride, a Maryland-based startup, is launching a new product that the company calls the world’s first all-in-one HUD. Using convenient gesture and voice controls, it grants drivers the ability to take or decline phone calls, access Google Maps navigation, control music, hear texts, and even monitor vehicle diagnostics like speed, tire pressure, and fuel level, all from one place. There is also an inbuilt 3 MP dash cam, cloud storage capability, and tons of available apps including internet radio.
All of these functions are accessed through the HUD’s 6.0-inch transparent screen, which is controlled with four basic hand gestures: up, down, left, and right. From there, all your in-car gadgets are consolidated in front of the driver, which Exploride says will reduce distracted driving and increase safety. We can’t promise you won’t look odd to neighboring drivers as you wave your hand around, but these are the tradeoffs we make for innovative tech.
This all sounds very promising, but the system may, in fact, be dead in the water. After months without any product updates, we reached out to Exploride for a status check on its HUD development and we did not receive any response. We assume that development hurdles have put an indefinite hold on the Exploride HUD.
“My fiancee and I used to talk on the phone sometimes, while driving,” said Sunil Vallath, founder of Exploride. “On one such occasion, while talking on the phone, she got into a car accident. Luckily, she was unharmed. But the incident shook me up.”
“It drove me to look for a solution where I could remain in touch with my loved ones while driving, without putting myself or them at risk of injury,” Vallath continued. “The journey introduced me and my team to several other touchpoints in the driving scenario as well, where intervention of technology could make life better.”
To finance the HUD’s manufacturing costs, Exploride launched an Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $100,000. The campaign exceeded its goal by a wide margin, gaining $711,761 in pledges by October 2015.
Update: After months without any product updates, we reached out to Exploride for a status check on its HUD development.
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