Hardware startup Navdy has reportedly raised $20 million to manufacture their eponymous gadget, which projects smartphone alerts directly onto an automobile windshield.
“From the way information is presented, the clarity of the image, the flexibility of the gesture recognition to the way Navdy sits on your car’s dashboard, we are obsessing over every detail to make sure it’s just right,” said cofounder Doug Simpson.
To use Navdy, users will download the app and use voice commands and swiping gestures to manipulate the data projected onto their windshield.
Navdy’s relationship with automobile safety is fraught. Company representatives position the venture as a bid to free drivers from the distractions of a handset (“If you look down for four seconds while going 60 miles per hour, you’ve just driven a football field blind,” Simpson told the Wall Street Journal) but at the same time, the system’s entire goal is to take motorists’ eyes off the road.
To bolster safety, Navdy says it will follow the distracted driving guidelines set by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, disable alerts while the driver is making turns and block streaming apps like Netflix.
Simpson and his Navdy cofounders are graduates of the Highway 1 program, which offers multiple levels of support for entrepreneurs trying to develop hardware startups (the program will be accepting the next round of applications in May 2015, and it is currently seeking applications for ambassadors and mentors who understand and support the Maker Movement.)