It's essentially a head-up display linked to your car as well as your smartphone.

The first order of business for Harman now that it has agreed to become a member of Samsung’s portfolio is to invest in a portable head-up display called Navdy. The hardware is available for $799 and is placed on top of the dashboard in front of the driver to deliver information sourced from a smartphone. It can show a wide array of information, such as text messages, driving directions, alerts about incoming phone calls, and song titles.

Not only that, but Navdy is also hooked up to the car via the OBD-II interface, so it delivers to the driver important data about the vehicle, like speed, fuel level, and also notifications about getting the car serviced. The user controls the HUD by attaching a rotary knob on the steering wheel, while the Navdy app available for iOS and Android bridges the connection between the device and the smartphone.

With Harman being one of the world’s biggest suppliers of car-related infotainment systems, the decision to invest in Navdy makes perfect sense after the $8-billion deal with Samsung. Navdy’s CEO, Doug Simpson, said the company had been in discussions with several car manufacturers about a potential investment prior to reaching an agreement with Harman.

By joining forces, Harman has announced it will offer the product, which is being billed as an aftermarket “augmented reality driving device,” to automotive OEMs beginning with next month. Navdy is currently available only in North America, but Simpson says there are plans of an expansion to introduce the HUD device in Europe, Asia, and South America.

It’s not known at this point how much money Harman is investing in Navdy, but Simpson mentions the San Francisco-based startup has managed to obtain so far a total of $42 million from investors, including from a few venture capital companies as well as from chip giant Qualcomm.

Source: Automotive News

 

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STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HARMAN (NYSE: HAR), the premier connected technologies company for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced today that it will offer an aftermarket Augmented Reality (AR) Driving Device to automotive OEMs through a strategic partnership and investment in Silicon Valley innovator Navdy. As part of the agreement, HARMAN will have exclusive rights to distribute the new co-branded aftermarket Navdy with HARMAN device to automotive OEMs, specialty auto and audio channels as well as select mobile carriers globally.

Introduced last month, the new Navdy product is the world's first aftermarket heads-up driving (HUD) device that projects both mobile application information and car data information directly over the road allowing drivers to Look Forward© while Staying Connected©. The aftermarket HUD solution leverages AR technology to project car, phone and music information directly in the driver's line of sight, creating a new type of driving experience that is both safe and satisfying.

The initial offering will be a co-branded Navdy with HARMAN aftermarket device combining the innovative Navdy technology with the strength of the HARMAN brand. In January of 2017, the aftermarket device will be available direct to automotive OEM customers globally and to consumers in North America through well-known specialty auto/audio outlets. Product bundles with synergistic HARMAN products such as the JBL® Trip will also be made available in select markets.

“We are pleased to partner with HARMAN, which brings a wealth of experience across brands, technology and global networks that will expand our reach. The product is available in North America with plans to extend to Europe, Asia and South America. The Navdy with HARMAN device joins a number of automotive aftermarket product innovations from HARMAN’s well-known brands like JBL,” according to Doug Simpson, founder and CEO of Navdy.

Navdy's breakthrough user interface projects a transparent image on the road ahead and incorporates advanced software that lets drivers interact with their smartphones hands-free using hand gestures to accept calls and respond to messages. Having maps, calls, messages, notifications, music, and car information projected directly over the road results in a safer connected driving experience. The augmented driving device software is also tightly integrated with the OBD-II interface of the car allowing access to important car information such as speed and fuel level on the transparent screen.

“Consumers today are keenly aware of the risks posed by distractions due to mobile texting and phone calls while driving. They want products that make the connected car experience safe while increasing driver satisfaction. These are two reasons why Car Toys is seeing tremendous growth in Driver Assistance products and why solutions that reduce distracted driving are resonating powerfully with consumers. There is a lot of pent up demand for a robust HUD solution and we are extremely excited about HARMAN’s entry into the aftermarket category – especially with the powerful Navdy with HARMAN product. We are looking forward to offering our customers a product that makes driving safer and drivers happier,” said Jim Warren, vice president, merchandising & marketing, Car Toys.

According to a recent IHS Markit survey, consumer demand for HUD technology is rapidly increasing. The survey found that 55 percent of new car intenders in the U.S. would like to have or desire to have HUD technology in their next car. Technology like Navdy is well-positioned to meet the demands of the growing market.

“HARMAN is known for setting the standard for solutions that improve the in-car driving experience. From automotive audio to embedded infotainment to aftermarket devices, HARMAN has pioneered the introduction of innovations that make driving safer, more enjoyable, and more secure. HARMAN’s partnership with Navdy to co-brand and distribute the new Navdy device follows this tradition by being the first to introduce to our automotive channel a heads-up display solution that offers an impressive feature set,” said Sanjay Dhawan, president, HARMAN Connected Services. “This new relationship broadens HARMAN’s portfolio of solutions for the automotive aftermarket, which is a $2.7 billion market and growing, to address consumers’ desire for a safe and convenient use of smartphone applications. We’re looking forward to working with Navdy to explore additional opportunities that leverage our joint expertise in software functionality and hardware design in automotive.”

Those interested in learning more about the Navdy with HARMAN device can view a video here and access product and purchasing information here.

About HARMAN
HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company’s software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $7.0 billion during the 12 months ended September 30, 2016. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

About Navdy
Navdy created the world's first Augmented Driving© device for your car that lets you Look Forward© while Staying Connected©. The company's mission is to reinvent the driving experience and to make driving something you Look Forward to again. In 2013, Navdy set out to fundamentally change the way you use technology in the car and to create the type of product that makes you immediately wonder how you ever lived without it. Navdy is more than a new display, more than a new UI, and more than a new platform for Apps -- it's an experience and one the company hopes you enjoy every time you get behind the wheel. With the strategic investment from HARMAN, it brings the funding total raised by Navdy to $42 million, which includes investments from Qualcomm, Upfront, Promus, Ludlow and others. To learn more, visit www.navdy.com.