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Jul 08, 2013 11:52 AM EDT

Garmin HUD Release Date, Specs: New Device Connects Smartphones to In-Car GPS

Garmin has introduced its next navigational gadget, hoping to make GPS use safer and easier.

According to, the device, simply named Garmin HUD (head-up display), will project a transparent film onto the car's windshield and will connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone.

The iPhone, Windows 8 phone and Android smartphones will be able to project their mapping app directly into the driver's line of sight without getting in the way. The objective is to stop drivers from glancing down at their phone and to have the next direction projected to them.

The display will show the driver the next direction, current speed, speed limit, estimated arrival time, as well as recommending the best lane to travel in and upcoming traffic delays. The display is also small enough to fit right on the dashboard, projecting into the bottom corner of the driver's line of vision.

The new GPS device costs $130 and will not be compatible with the Google Maps app, or with a phone's stock mapping tool. The Wall Street Journal reported use of the Garmin HUD will require either the Garmin StreetPilot or the NAVIGON app, both priced at $29.99 and up.

"HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road," Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement. "Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price."

The device can also connect via Bluetooth to a car's stereo to project the mapping app's turn-by-turn voice commands. Furthermore, if the phone is playing music through the car's speakers, the HUD will automatically dull the music to give the command. The device will not interrupt the navigation when an incoming call is being received.

Users do not have to display the screen on their windshield if they do not want to because the device comes with an attachable reflector lens. The device is expected to be available later this summer.

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