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Harman invests in Navdy to launch augmented reality displays on car windscreens

Harman’s partnership with Navdy will give it exclusive rights to sell co-branded, aftermarket heads-up display devices to automotive manufacturers

Harman, the connected technologies company for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, says it will offer an aftermarket augmented reality driving device to automotive manufacturers 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 original equipment manufacturers, 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 device that projects both mobile application information and car data information directly over the road allowing drivers to “look forward” while “staying connected”, two phrases which Harman has apparently trademarked. 

harman navdy

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 recognisable 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 and audio outlets.

Product bundles with synergistic Harman products such as the JBL Trip will also be made available in select markets.

Doug Simpson, founder and CEO of Navdy, says: “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.”

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 company says.

Harman says 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.

OBD stands for on-board diagnostics, and the OBD-II specification is mandatary in the US.

Sanjay Dhawan, president, Harman Connected Services, says: “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.

“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.”