It’s become horribly obvious that the more a driver fiddles with their phone, the better chance they have of becoming involved in a car accident. But even taking one’s eyes off the road can be problematic — so Slovakian-based Sygic has added a head-up display mode to their iOS turn-by-turn navigation apps that tries to alleviate the problem by keeping the driver’s eyes focused on the road.
There’s no trick tech to the HUD mode — it simply displays navigation info in a large, easy-to-read format. Then all you do is pop the iPhone or iPad on the car’s dash, with the idea that the iPhone’s screen reflects off the windshield to create a HUD.
It works on the same principle as Garmin’s new $150 HUD device, which reformats info from the Garmin or Navigon (also owned by Garmin) apps. There are two huge differences though. At $5, Sygic’s HUD mode is much less expensive; and, of course, an iDevice isn’t really designed for the task, so there’s the problem of getting it to sit still on your windshield. There’s also the question of whether it will actually work as advertised, and especially in changing conditions. The Garmin device employs a specially surfaced transparent sticker to reflect off of, and is also specially tuned to adjust to variable lighting.
Still, $5 is considerably less than $150. And if you already have the $30 (U.S. version) app, you might as well try it out, because right now the HUD mode is free.