True3D Head Up Display keeps drivers focused on the road
Developed by the California-based company Making Virtual Solid, True3D is billed as 'an augmented reality navigational display engine designed to provide non-distracting, translucent location guidance.'
If you've ever been found yourself hopeless lost at the end of a mountain logging road at 2 a.m. on a moonless night with the fuel gauge flashing "empty", you'll agree that satellite navigation is a pretty good idea. For drivers who routinely travel to new destinations in unfamiliar places or simply lack even a basic sense of direction, they are a godsend. Unfortunately, they can also be very difficult to use. The satnav receiver may be a little plastic screen propped on the seat next to the driver, mounted in a plastic claw or built in to the dashboard, but what they all have in common is that the driver has to either keep glancing away from the road or hope they hear the voice prompt correctly before the exit goes flashing by. This is not only inefficient, it's potentially distracting and dangerous. Even the head-up displays (HUD) found on some high-end cars only moderate the problem by moving the small display from the dash to the windscreen. What's need is something that keeps the driver's eyes on the road by unobtrusively blending in with the real world beyond the windscreen.
That's the idea behind the True3D, which recently won the EUR20,000 Galileo Master 2011 grand prize at this year's European Satellite Navigation Competition in Munich, Germany.