Exploride – A new Aftermarket HUD for the Car Enters Crowdfunding Stage

Exploride 1

The latest entry into the automotive aftermarket head up display (HUD) field comes from Exploride, an Indian/MIT startup company. It has developed a HUD based on a transparent display that pretty much mirrors all the functionalities of today’s HUD devices.

The device connects with the driver’s smartphone via Bluetooth to provide connectivity via phone calls and messaging, but does not rely on the smartphone for any other function. In particular, the device comes with its own processor and 4G LTE connectivity.

The following chart shows the main functionalities include a connection to the car audio system, GPS and the cloud, the smartphone, creating a Wi-Fi hotspot and the car’s diagnostic center. The last point is accomplished via a provided OBD scanner. Power comes from the car’s 12V plug.

Source: Exploride

There is also a dash cam included that allows for video recording while driving. This may be come in handy in case of an accident or when making a trip movie. The device has its own speakers incorporated, but will also connect to the car’s stereo system via Bluetooth or audio jack.

While the navigation relies on the incorporated GPS receivers, the underlying map function seems to be provided by Google Maps.

The user interface is completely based on voice and gesture control, no touch screen here. This eliminates a potential distraction while driving, but it may take some time to get used to. Drivers waving their hands may not just be friendly but are trying desperately to answer an incoming call.

The display itself is not further described, but the transparent displays seem to hint strongly at OLED displays. These panels have been shown so far by Samsung and LG. Transparency wasn’t that great until now and as light emitting devices, care needs to be taken to avoid any kind of driver disturbance.

Exploride 3Source: Exploride

Also it should be noted that this kind of design creates the image in the plane of the display panel, which means there is no virtual image floating in front of the car. One of the key functions of a HUD is avoiding focusing the driver’s eyes on different planes to avoid eye strain and fatigue and to keep driving safer. In addition future versions of the installed HUD promise a kind of augmented reality, by overlaying navigational and other information on the real world. However, this function will require a pretty large field of view.

There is no information on the display resolution, but the provided physical dimensions show a 7.5” displays with an aspect ratio close to 4:3 rather than 16:9.

Overall the IndieGogo campaign is very successful, with a funding target of $100k reached within the first 5 days. While the expected retail price of the Exploride is just under $500, you can get a full version with 5GB of cloud storage for $269 right now. – NH