Navdy is an interesting Heads-up Display for your car

NavdyRemember those days when people had stand-alone GPS devices in their cars? That all changed when people could get map apps on their smartphones. Unfortunately, these types of apps led to all kinds of distracted driving accidents, which leads to the now-obvious solution of the Navdy.

The Navdy is a heads-up with a tiny projector on a 5.1 inch transparent screen. You can put the Navdy on your dashboard, and still read the information on it while you are looking through it.

With the Navdy, you can use your favorite apps from your iOS or Android smartphone. As an added bonus, the Navdy has an option of gesture and vocal controls so you can answer a phone call, send a tweet, and even send a text.

The Navdy is trying to achieve funds privately, and I don’t seem to have a Kickstarter or Indiegogo page for it. You can find out more about it here, and even pre-order it for a price of $300. Check out the video after the jump.


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The 120 Watt Cup Inverter from Energizer

energizer 120 WattIf you do a lot of work on the road, then you know how important it is to be charging your mobile devices while you are behind the wheel. I’m sure that a lot of people have one of those cigarette lighter/USB adapters in their cars, and Energizer has something for the whole family with the 120 Watt Cup Inverter.

The 120 Watt Cup Inverter is made to fit in the cup holder of the driver’s seat, and it can power up 5 devices at once. This is provided that you have 4 USB devices and AC/CA plug-in device, and you also need to have a cigarette lighter plug in your car.

As for the rest of the specs, it 120 W Continuous/240 W Peak Power. The four USB ports are 2.1 A Shared, and there is no internal fan, so it is silent. If you want this for your car, you can purchase it on sites like Amazon for about $31.84.

Car-to-car Communication is definitely in the future

yahoo trafficIt is pretty obvious that cars have much more tech in them then their predecessors, and I think we are going to see an advancement in tech in the next few years. It is in-car communication.

In-car communication involves a radio beacon that continually transmits a vehicle’s position, heading, speed, and who knows what else. Apparently, cars can receive information from other vehicles, and can send it back.

This really opens up a world of possibilities. Imagine if a vehicle was coming at you at 80 mph on the other side of the road. This is where the warning would come in, and maybe there could be some braking or steering done automatically on the other car’s part.

Personally, I think this is something that I think we all need. I have been wondering if the next possible step of this car-to-car communication is self-driving vehicles. Think about it. Also, why do we need to put the in-car transportation in a vehicle? Isn’t it enough to just use our smartphones?


Mobiliant is a car that can literally climb walls

MobilantEvery year, the L.A. Auto Show loves to show off some pretty awesome vehicles, and a lot of them are concept. Most of these concept cars never see the light of a mass-manufacturing, made simply because it can be made.

This is the Mobiliant, which is a winning design by China’s SAIC. It has the ability to literally drive up the wall. Oh yeah. I am seriously having flashbacks to a scene from Batman Forever. Not to mention a lot of old cartoons.

How does the Mobiliant do this? Because it has C.L.A.W.S. (Cilium Layer Advance Wheel System), this nano-scale cilia technology can somehow adapt to any surface and somehow increase its grip on the road. Also, there are special stabilizers in the cockpit to keep it level.

By the way, the Mobiliant is very eco-friendly by converting its greenhouse gases into a fertilizer. My Source says this is good for shedding its fertilizer when parked on the edge of skyscraper.

That’s right, we are looking at an age where cars will be driving on the sides of buildings just like…do I need to say the movie that I am about to reference? Forget it. Here’s a link if you haven’t figured it out yet.


Pioneer is working on a head’s up display

pioneer-heads-up-display-gpsSome of you might remember how we discussed Pioneer’s cool new driver’s seat on display at CEATAC. It looks like I forgot to talk about this particular concept with this ND-HUD01, a fancy heads-up display.

As you might have guessed, this is designed to prevent the whole texting-while-driving which is becoming a real hot-button issue. My Source says that it killed 3,331 people in 2011, injuring 387,000. This particular one allows for viewing one’s GPS by attaching a thin retangular glass panel for a full digital readout. It will also give your speed, time, and other things that you might have to look down at the dash to see.

Unlike that seat I discussed earlier this week, this particular device is made and real. In fact, it will be available in Europe and Japan for 600 euros or 60,000 yen.

Now, here’s the thing I am wondering about. Will you be able to scroll text messages, or is that a distraction? Can you try to put a video on it? Oh yeah, this is the start of another hot-button issue.


Armadillo-T is one great Turtle Car

Yes, you heard my title correctly, this is about a turtle car. That sounds like something from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the 80’s version.

This is Armadillo-T, developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and it is fully electric. It has a 13.6 kWh battery, able to travel to 37 miles per hour with a 60 mile range on a single charge.

Then there is the best part. It practically folds in half when you park it! Seriously, the car will take up a lot less space, which will lead to a lot of less parking spaces. This will open up a lot of room for parking, and more space overall.

Okay, I am not certain if this will catch on for every car. In fact, it would take quite a miracle for all cars to have this handy feature. I can see every car having an automatic trunk, but this would require a complete overhaul.


Panavise PortaGrip with Suction Cup Mount, in two forms

Panavise 1I have tried out Panavise products before, and I find that they are quite good. I was very pleased to try out the Porta-Grip In-vehicle Phone Holder, and it is a good way to keep your phone near where you need it while you drive. I was lucky to try out two of their models.

The first is the PortaGrip with 709B Suction Cup Mount, and it has a telescoping arm that extends to about 18 inches. This is good for vehicles with “deep dashes”. The suction cup will cement to glass and remain surprisingly secure. As you might be able to tell, you can adjust the place where you keep the smartphone very easily. So if you want your GPS mapping program to be in portrait instead of landscape, you can have that. By the way, you can also adjust the angle at the suction cup for a better view.

Panavise 2The second is the PortaGrip with 811 Suction Cup Mount, and it is very similar to the 709B that I just discussed, but it has a shorter reach. This is probably made for cars that have the glass closer to the driver, and I couldn’t think of any other way to describe that without using the term “shallow dash”. You can turn and adjust the smartphone in its cradle, and I forgot to mention that its design allows for the side buttons to be free, unlike a lot of other automobile smartphone mounts.

If you want to get in on this deal, feel free to head over to the Panavise site and see what they have to offer. You can find the 709B Suction Cup Mount here for $59.99 and the 811 here for $29.99.

Volvo’s new crash-free technologies

It is interesting to see how automobile companies are trying to prevent accidents. Those back-up cameras are a good help, but Volvo is putting some very interesting features on their newest models, starting with their 2014 series.

You can watch the video and see that it has pedestrian detection in darkness, which will cause the car to slow to a complete stop when a pedestrian walks in front. It also has animal detection, in case a deer or moose crosses the road, and you also have to come to a complete stop. Another feature is road edge and barrier detection, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

What really is interesting is the self-parking feature. Can you imagine just getting out of your car, and just letting the car just park itself? Yeah, I have no idea how that will work, but I think we all want the self-driving cars like in I, Robot.

You know what, I just realized something wrong with I, Robot. In the film, Will Smith has a painful backstory where he gets into an accident, and a robot saves his life instead of a nearby girl. The accident was caused by an overworked truck driver, but doesn’t he live in an age where cars drive themselves? Wow, that is a huge hole in that movie, unless his backstory/accident took place before self-driving cars.

I believe that Volvo has a plan to remove auto accidents to 0 by 2020. Someone in the video says that “humans cause 90 percent of auto accidents”. What is the other 10 percent?


TYLT Capio w/NFC Universal Smartphone Car Mount

TYLT-Capio-3q-front-leftI have reviewed products form TYLT before, most recently, the Vu Wireless Charger. The company is very good at the accessories that it creates, and they have truly responded to customers’ needs with the Capio Universal Car Mount with NFC.

There are a lot of Car Mounts, and one of the things that keeps them from being Universal is that smartphone and other cellular phones is that they are all different sizes. The Capio addresses this with a patented sticky surface that allows you to just stick your phone on.

I am not certain if you want to stick a tablet on there, even though the suction cup on the bottom has the same sticky material as the stuff on the sticky pad. There is a video that shows that the suction cup can hold a large weight, but I often find that “heavy lifting” is not a feature that you want to use constantly.

In addition to these adhesive features, it also has a ball joint neck for adjusting the angle of viewing. What I really like is the Capio is compatible with NFC Task Launcher, an application that works well with NFC phones which is good for custom profiles.

All in all, I will have to say that the Capio is a pretty good buy for what it does, and it has a small price at $39.99 on the TYLT website.

Is the Terrafugia TF-X the future of flying cars?

tfx-terrafugiaI’m not certain if you have heard of the Terrafugia Transition, but it is essentially a car and a plane all in one. You would need a runway for that auto/plane, but for this new TF-X, it could begin a new age of flying cars.

You will notice that this car is really set up for VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landings), which means that you could theoretically land it anywhere. Not only does this car have the ability of easy flight, but it has a fully automated flight program.

That’s right, this particular craft has the ability to fly itself. This would certainly give some comfort in an age of flying cars, as I’m not certain how I would feel if all these people got quick pilot’s licenses. Yeah, perhaps this is why we don’t have swarms of flying cars like in Back to the Future II, yet.

Oh, did I mention that this car/flying machine is both gas and electric power? It is. Now all I wonder is if this is the future.