There are heads-up displays out there already that project things like speed or turn-by-turn directions on the windshield. Some of them come directly from the manufacturer, some of them are aftermarket add-ons, but none of them incorporate augmented reality like the upcoming Navion system from WayRay will.
Rather than throwing little left-turn arrows up in your field of vision, Navion projects holographic arrows that follow the road in front of you and then onto the road where you need to turn left. There’s no need to look at the navigation screen in the center console to figure out if the robot voice who pronounces everything wrong is telling you to take this left coming up right now or the next one. Navion will just run those green arrows along the correct path right in front of your eyeballs. No headset required.
Navion will use gesture controls, but while your eyes will still be on the road, you might want to keep your hands upon the wheel. WayRay’s website says the system’s gesture controls will work as easily as tapping physical buttons and turning knobs, but anyone who’s tried to maneuver the sometimes flickering white hand of an Xbox Kinect will be skeptical of that claim. There’s also a voice control component, which at least keeps your hands at nine and three on the wheel, where they should be.
The Switzerland-based WayRay, maker of Navion, says that the system will work with your smartphone and any car. It’ll be ready to ship by fall 2015, and you can sign up on the WayRay website to get updates sent via email.