Sunday, March 18, 2012

UPDATED: Garmin HUD (heads up display) announced

Garmin HUD heads up display auto GP

UPDATE: Read my hands on Garmin HUD review.

Check it out! Garmin is announcing HUD, a portable heads up display this morning. The $129.99 (MSRP) device receives navigation information from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a Garmin StreetPilot or NAVIGON app. The HUD projects directions onto either a transparent windshield film or an attached reflector lens; both are included in the purchase price. The transparent film appears to be relatively small and unobtrusive.

The simplified display of the Garmin HUD shows the next maneuver, distance to next turn, current speed, speed limit, lane assist, and estimated time of arrival. The companion navigation apps offer speeding alerts, live traffic and safety camera location subscription options. The display automatically adjusts brightness depending upon conditions.

Voice commands are delivered via the phone, and navigation information is continuously displayed while taking incoming calls.

Close up detail of the Garmin HUD

Close up detail of the Garmin HUD

In their news release, Garmin points out that heads up displays (HUDs) are currently limited to high-end cars. This new device represents the company’s attempt to bring them to the masses as an aftermarket accessory.

The HUD pairs via Bluetooth with Android, iPhone or Windows smartphones and includes a USB port on the vehicle power/adapter cable to allow you to charge  your phone while driving.

Availability is slated for this summer. Garmin StreetPilot and NAVIGON apps with regional maps start at $29.99.

I’ll update this post with the product link, more specific availability info, additional images, etc., as they becomes available.

I’m curious. For those of you out there who have given up on dedicated GPS navigators and rely solely on your phone for navigation, will this get you to buy Garmin hardware again? I know I’m sure looking forward to trying it out.

UPDATE: Here’s the Garmin HUD product page and full news release. I’m adding new photos below too.

Garmin HUD



UPDATE 2: The HUD has cleared the FCC, and it appears to have a hinge that will help adjust for the angles of different windshields (see image below).

Garmin HUD FCC pic

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Tregonsee says:

    As a retired pilot who used HUDs, this is amazing. I expect I will wait my usual 5 years to upgrade my GPS, which I just did, but will almost certainly go this route if they are still available.

  2. Boyd Ostroff says:

    Really doesn’t interest me in the least. But for me, “it’s all about the map”. Why would I trade a device with a high resolution color screen for something with big blue blocky numbers that look like an alarm clock from the 1980’s? 😉

    And when you include the cost of the app, it’s going to cost $200, not to mention whatever data charges you might incur. You can buy a very nice Nuvi with lifetime maps, traffic and a 5″ screen for $200, or a basic one for about $100.

    I think this is gonna be a tough sell personally. But I’ve been wrong before. 🙂

  3. SergZak says:

    I agree with Boyd. I like to see my map. I wonder if Garmin getting back on the “it’s a navigational device to get you from A to B, not a mapping device”. I also wonder how it will work with dirty windows. Mine are a bear to clean on the inside…but maybe it would help rather than hinder. 8D

  4. Pythagoras says:

    I don’t know… I currently have a 27″ Dell monitor installed directly in front of my steering wheel so not only can I see the map, I can also check email, watch movies, etc.

    I personally would install the HUD on the passenger side.

  5. I find it extremely odd that Garmin would not have made this HUD accessory so that it could be used with any (or even some) of their GPS units instead of with a Smart Phone.


    • At first, you might think it would work with nuvis with Bluetooth, but they are only designed to communicate with phones. It would at least take software tweaks but I suspect they might need different Bluetooth chips as well.

  6. Hmmm I jumped at this right away but after studying it for a few minutes it definitely would not work for me. I am on my 3rd Garmin Nuvi (1450). Don’t use my IPhone at all.
    I like the comfort of seeing the road in color
    I’m afraid I would get seriously lost with this thing–actually seems a bit backward to me

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