There are certain things a lot of people in the past have dreamed that the future will have. There were flying cars, laser beams, light sabers, clean energy, and of course, holographic displays. The real allure of a holographic or a see through display is the feeling that you are looking through air. You see information you need while being able to see of what lies ahead.

We may not have (working) flying cars just yet, but the automobile business does have a need for what holographic displays promise. With a holographic or projected see-through display, we have a way of being able to keep watch of the road while being able to keep track of important details while on the go. The less time you spend looking away from the road, the better.

While this dream is not so easy to realize yet for the automotive business thanks to “high expense”, Garmin can offer you this easier and safer in-car navigation for but a fraction of the premium this feature adds to the car. This August, it seems like we will be treated to something close to what the future holds at a lower price point – the Garmin HUD.

HUD means Head-up Display. If you are an avid gamer, you would definitely be familiar with the term. If you’re not, it is the term given for the information that is displayed along the sides as well as the upper and bottom limits of the display. In the same way, the Garmin HUD is a navigation system that will sit right along your peripheral vision just like a normal GPS. The main difference is that while you look into the information, you still have a pretty clear view of what lies behind it.

Other GPS systems are usually placed a little ways away from your direct line of view to prevent it from blocking a part of your view or distracting you. Bezels, controls and the presence of the windshield mounts usually get in the way of driving if placed too close to the actual field of view. With the Garmin HUD, the idea is to place it around the area of your direct field of view so that you can constantly see the information as needed, without the need to look away. The best part is since it is holographic or technically, projected, it doesn’t obstruct your view with mounts, opaque backgrounds and bezels.

The catch here is that you actually need a smartphone. Not to underestimate car owners, but there are still people who try ignore or just can’t ride with the smartphone revolution. If you don’t have a smartphone with a NAVIGON app or an iPhone with Garmin StreetPilot app, then you may want to look at other solutions.

The device merely takes information provided by the smartphone, so you actually are using two devices to perform the job of one device. The Garmin HUD takes care of the display and projection of information such as the next turn, the distance to the next turn, the lane you should switch to, speed limits and current speed, estimated time of arrival, and even traffic information as long as you have the right app subscriptions.

The unit itself is just $129.99 from Garmin’s website. It will be a good 5 to 8 weeks more before we finally see this product in circulation, but that is a time worth waiting for if you are the right buyer. You may have to purchase an app to go along with the device though, so if you are not keen to using your phone to help in navigation, this might not be for you. After all, a dedicated GPS system is still a lot more accurate and reliable than a phone integrated solution.

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