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Old 19th March 2017, 17:56   #1
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Default Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

Wikipedia defines a head's up display as:

A head-up display or heads-up display, also known as a HUD, is any transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints.

These displays present data to the pilot (driver in case of a truck/car) in the field of view without the need for refocusing on the instrumentation. They have seen widespread use in military aviation and the latest civilian aircraft. Since the displays help the pilot not to get distracted, they are also being used in high end cars, for example on the BMWs. The BMWs use a projector system to display the information on the windshield directly. The technology has been clearly explained on the BMW site.

I wanted to know how it is to use such a display and since I could not get a BMW just to try this, I started looking for options. I have heard of phone apps being used to show a reflection on the windshield. But there is a problem with this. Windshields are not designed for an image projection. Hence you see two reflections of the phone screen on the windshield and it, in fact, distracts the driver more. That is when I heard of Hudway Glass on Kickstarter (here). I backed the project immediately for USD 39 and I got an unit as a reward.

This post describes my initial experience with the product. In summary, I should say that I a bit disappointed with the performance in day light.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwaybox.jpg

What's in the box:
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-whatsinthebox.jpg

Inside the box, you will find
- A quick start guide and warranty information leaflet.
- Two kinds of mounts: one has a rectangular base that serves as a cradle base and the other is a fixed low profile mount. Both the mounts can be glued to the dash board with the help of tape already attached. The Glass attaches to the mounts on the circular end magnetically.
- A card (white one in the image above) that has codes to activate the Hudway Glass apps.
- A second card that has an NFC tag. The tag can be attached to the dash board and can be used to launch a mobile app if the phone supports NFC.
- The Hudway Glass itself. It comes in a pouch that doubles up as a cleaning cloth.

The package also includes a 'Pump your ride' sticker.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwayglass.jpg

The Glass is basically a specially treated aspherical plastic lens that increases the image size by about 20% and it does not show two reflections. You place the phone on the cradle, lift up the lens and adjust the viewing angle; the HUD is ready to go.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwayglass_screen.jpg
The image above shows the reflective coating on the Glass.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwayglass_backpanel.jpg
The back panel of the Glass has a magnetic base that attaches to the cradle or fixed mount.

I tested the Glass with a Nexus 4 phone set to full brightness and adaptive display brightness disabled. The image below shows the Glass in the shade of my apartment parking.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwayglass_inparkingdisplay3.jpg

As you can see, the reflected image is slightly dim. Immediately after taking this photograph, I took the car out for a drive to see the performance in full day light condition. Boy, was I disappointed. I probably have to attribute this to the phone's display a bit.

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-hudwayglass_dayonroaddisplay1.jpg

Here is a video of the drive. You cannot see the image, can you? I could see the image a wee bit but it was not as expected.


I am going to repeat the same with night driving and post a video in a subsequent post.

Mobile Apps

There are two mobile apps that accompany the Glass; Hudway Widgets and Hudway. The widgets app has screens for speedometer, trip information. Some screens can be unlocked with the Pro version - the activation key for which is in the package. Descriptions to some screens are given below.

Hudway Glass main screen. It is from here that you select the function required.
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-main-screen.png

Speedometer Chevrolet style
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-speedometer_chevrolet.png

Swiping in from the left brings up options. One such option is the HUD that flips the image so that the reflection on the Glass appears correct.
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-speedometer_hudbutton.png

Clicking on Navigation option on the main screen brings up the Hudway navigation app.
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-navigation.png

Another screen that I found rather interesting is the Land Meter (under Other option on the main screen). This screen uses the accelerometer of the phone and displays the roll and pitch of the vehicle.
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-landmeter.png

You are not restricted to Hudway apps only. There are a lot of HUD apps on the app stores. I have to look into them and see which one is better to use.

Until the next post,
Cheers
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Old 20th March 2017, 12:00   #2
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

Well I have been bitten by this bug last year and I realized that it is more of a gimmick and not really worth it, if it doesnt automatically come with your car.
I bought one of these films available on ebay (something similar to this: http://www.ebay.in/itm/Universal-Tra...-/252648797779) and although the display was bright (I think it was brighter than what I see in your video), it suffered from the following problems:
- Lack of good (and free) apps. The hudway navigation looks cool at night but then its not google maps and hence does not show you real time traffic updates.
- You need to keep the phone on the dash and during the daytime, it can get very very hot since its display is facing upwards, and the screen is continuously on. Moreover the brightness has to be increased for you to be able to see the heads up display during the daytime.

All in all, although having such a device increases your coolness quotient, it really lacks the functionality or the practicality aspect. Remember that I am only talking about this aftermarket stuff. The HUDs that come with high end cars definitely should be much more useful.

Last edited by skoda0505 : 20th March 2017 at 12:11.
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Old 20th March 2017, 15:50   #3
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

I somehow find these devices that run off the cell phone very inadequate. These functions must be built into the car and like you said the cons

a. Phone must be on all the time during drive. Difficult for long drives with the wire running on the dash keeping it charged.
b. Exposed to Sunlight all the time. Device can get hot.
c. The inconvenience of startup and shutdown the app, process etc. Not very suitable when you are in a hurry.
d. Exhaustion of phone battery and its life due to continuous use.
e. Not all phones can really take advantage of this technology. Some phones with better display may provide a more better experience.
f. The usage and relevance may only be as good as the app you are using.

These are some of the things I could think of right now. I feel the Andriod car play has better scope than a heads up display, although I personally think that apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger etc must be strictly not used when you are driving (unless there is a mechanism to read out)
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Old 21st March 2017, 14:50   #4
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

hi srinivasnvns

I have been using the Hudway glass for a month and i am very happy with my purchase.
My unit is part of the 2nd batch of pre-orders from the hudway website.

Your photographs are very disappointing and not indicative of my experience.
I will try to share photographs of my unit.
I did some research online and found that the reflective glass has been improved (I have version two, if you call kickstarter dispatch as version 1).

The Hudway team have been very helpful. Even after the first unit got lost in transit, they sent me another unit.
Also, I sent them a mail showing that the mounts were not sticking to my dashboard and they promptly sent me stronger 3m adhesive strips.
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Old 21st March 2017, 20:44   #5
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungax View Post
Your photographs are very disappointing and not indicative of my experience.
I will try to share photographs of my unit.
Hi,

Yeah, I got the unit from the first lot. All said and done, I do have to blame my phone and the bright sun light.

Please do share some pictures from your setup in day light. May be I am missing something.

Cheers.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 08:56   #6
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

All these devices have one critical flaw - none of them are focussed at infinity like the actual collimated HUDs. These things force you to change your focus from the road (far vision) to the dashboard (near vision) so i find them kind of pointless. To function like a proper HUD it will require some sort of Fresnel lens mechanism. This is the reason I never bothered experimenting with them.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 16:19   #7
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

My impressions of the Hudway glass after using it for 2 long highway drives.

<<Note to Mods: Unable to post images inline>>

The Good,
- A HUD solution which works better than any other i have tried.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Can be removed when not in use, doesnít stick to the windshield.
- Once you get used to the HUD, you donít glance down at the dials.
- NFC tag ensures the phone wakes up and loads the HUD app as soon as you place it on the cradle.

The Bad,
- As already pointed out, the biggest problem with this system is that your phone has to sit for hours in direct sunlight.
- Although its possible to connect the phone to OBD port for realtime engine parameters, out of the box apps use GPS. So the speedo is not realtime like traditional dials.
- Navigation apps (I tried Hudway and Sygec) are not really helpful in newer cars which are fitted with large screens for media/ maps.

I had followed the Hudway glass project during their kickstarter phase but i eventually paid USD 50/- and pre-booked directly on their website in June 2016.
The first piece sent out to me never reached India. I changed my mailing address and finally received my unit in Feb 2017.

After unboxing, the first question was which phone to use. I carry around an iPhone 6 and a Samsung Galaxy A8. Registering the App on iOS was out of the question as I am not willing to leave an iPhone on my dashboard under the hot sun.

So the Android phone was loaded up with a bunch of HUD apps and I headed out for a drive with my Galaxy A8 on the Hudway glass.
Unfortunately Hudway glass is not designed for large screen phones. At 5.7 inch, the screen was too big and i could not see all the data shown on the phone screen.
<<Image: With A8 5.7 inch>>

So i started looking around the house for and old Android phone. Found my dadís MOTO G2, sitting unused in a drawer.
The following photographs are using MOTO G2 with the adaptive brightness on.

The MOTO G2 in my Garage
<<Image: with Moto G2>>

With hard Sun in front of the car. (Behind the Hudway glass)
<< Image: sun in the rear>>

With hard Sun behind the car. (In front of the Hudway glass)
<<Image: sun in the front>>

In semi shaded condition
<<Image: half shade>>

Although the photographs of the Hudway Glass in direct sunlight show a kind of washed-out image, it is actually perfectly visible even when i had my sunglasses on.

As medicineman1987 has correctly pointed out. You have to change your focus to read the information displayed on the Glass.

The Hudway Glass is perfectly usable during most Indian condition with the exception of noon drives during summer.
During my road trip two weeks back, it was cloudy most of the time. This helped keep the phone cool and i used the Hudway glass for upto 6 hours continuously.
Attached Thumbnails
Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-a8-5.7-inch.jpg  

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-moto-g2.jpg  

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-sun-rear.jpg  

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-sun-front.jpg  

Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display-half-shade.jpg  


Last edited by gungax : 22nd March 2017 at 16:44. Reason: Unable to display photographs
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Old 22nd April 2017, 16:09   #8
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Cool Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

Hudway LLC has come up with a new device https://hudwaydrive.com/ with active electronics and that runs independently. Thinking of buying it and testing it as well.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 16:26   #9
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Default Re: Hudway Glass Review - Turn your smartphone into a Head-Up Display

Very gimmicky and hardly readable in day light, thanks for warning us. Would never buy this!
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