Head-up displays (HUD) much more than nice features

Augmented reality (AR) devices, like Google Glass, seem like a strange idea when running around public places on two legs. But what about situation on the road, where you have to act directly, particularly in situations where the driver, or rider, needs all the information available immediately without distracting their attention  from the road ahead.

Head-up displays (HUD) are much more than just a 'nice feature'

Head-up displays are any translucent display that presents information without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. The origin of the name stems from a pilot being able to view information with the head positioned "up" and looking forward, instead of angled down looking at lower instruments.
Although they were initially developed for military aviation, HUDs are now used in commercial aircraft, automobiles, computer gaming, and other applications.

It’s a new way to orientate, navigate and keep control of the vehicle and the surrounding.
And or but everyone who knows me knows that I am a skeptical person with a critical look on everything - head-up displays have advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of head-up displays

  • They Show you all kind of information in one place for better functionality - different dials can be grouped.
  • Eyes refocus much faster when you switch from the road to the projected display (dashboard, cellphone, other devices, …)

Disadvantages of head-up displays

  • Voice or flashing text could also be distracting for someone driving, because you may want to focus on what the person says or on what the flashing is about.
  • The optical system that projects your data is complicated and therefore the light efficiency is low. I really wonder how they adjust the HUD projector to be as light in clear sun as when we're night driving

If the head-up displays is matched with on-board cameras and adaptive cruise control it is one of the best safety systems.
Just think about a common weather problem that causes major safety hazards for drivers as an example -- fog. Newer HUD systems can use infrared cameras to detect where the lines on the road are and project them exactly where they appear in real life. Heads-up displays can project persons, animals, or items that are there, but that you can't see Now let's take it one step further. Not only can head-up displays tell you how far ahead the road user in front of you is, it'll also be able to show you how to move around another car or another obstacle to avoid an accident or other road hazards e.g. a rolling toy or ball or a careless children. Some adaptive cruise control systems already make safety calculations to determine the best route for a car around a certain situation.

The future is here.

NUVIZ Ride:HUD User Interface Preview from NUVIZ on Vimeo.