App delivers windscreen HUD for driving

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

Hudway is an app that provides an augmented-reality head-up display (HUD) for driving by reflecting it off your windscreen.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

When Garmin released its US$129.99 HUD gadget in July, it was only a matter of time before something similar landed for smartphones. Hudway is a free iPhone app (coming for Android by February next year) that reflects driving directions on to your windscreen for low-visibility conditions.

It works off the back of Google Maps. You build a route on the map, which the app then preloads so that it can be used offline — useful if connection is intermittent or you don't want to use data. You then place your phone on your dashboard, we recommend securing it with some kind of mount or Blu-tack, and driving directions are displayed reflected off the glass.

This is the app in its basic form. Upgrading to Pro for AU$1.99 will allow you to customise the view of the road and its turns, and dangerous sections of road will be displayed in red.

We imagine that it would not work particularly well in bright light, and the app's developer is very careful to specify that the app has been designed with low-visibility conditions in mind. "Usually, we like to drive — it's convenient, fast and fun. But when it's heavy rain, snow, foggy conditions or just a dark night — driving can be very dangerous," the app's description reads. "And this danger is due to very limited visibility of the road, usually 20 to 50 meters (60-150 feet) ahead. There might be a sharp turn or just straight way."

So it won't be replacing your GPS any time soon — but for a maximum of two dollars, with no need to buy extra map packs, it's a pretty sweet deal.

Watch the video below for a demo of Hudway in action on an iPad. You can grab it for free on the iTunes App Store, and watch the Hudway website for news of the Android release.

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