Harman International Industries Inc. invested in Navdy – a startup company from Silicon Valley. As a part of the agreement, Harman will distribute new co-branded Navdy with Harman device to automotive industry. We are talking about driving device that projects information on front of car windshields. Device will be available in January of 2017.
This is first time Herman invested after agreeing to sell itself to Samsung for $8 billion last month. Investment indicates a new field Herman plans to explore under the new ownership.
Information in the line of sight
Navdy’s hardware is placed above the steering wheel. It projects both, information from the driver’s smartphone and car data information onto a transparent screen. Software lets drivers interact with their smartphones hands-free using hand gestures to accept calls and respond to messages.
The idea is to place relevant information directly in the driver’s line of sight, so that driver can see updates at a glance. They are hopping to create safer driving experience by minimizing the risk of distraction due to mobile texting and phone calls.
Display can deliver maps, text messages, song tiles and alerts about incoming phone calls. Also, it will have access to important car information, such as speed and fuel level.
Navdy could help Herman push other services by, for example, telling drivers when their car need a mechanic, which could drive purchases of Harman’s auto parts. On the other side, Doug Simpson, the founder and CEO of Navdy said that they are “pleased to partner with Herman, which brings a wealth of experience across brands, technology and global networks that will expand our reach”. Herman is one of the biggest suppliers of infotainment systems to the automotive industry.