Designed to sit on your dashboard, this see-through screen displays a wealth of information and recognizes gesture-based input.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Distracted driving is a serious problem, which makes me wonder why more car manufacturers haven't done more with heads-up display technology. Navigation, messaging, infotainment -- this and other kinds of data could easily be displayed on your windshield while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.
Years back, a smattering of cars took baby steps with a heads-up speedometer, and more recently Garmin's Head-Up Display projected GPS data to your windshield. For whatever reason, neither tech really caught on.
Maybe this will. Exploride is a dash-mounted head-up display that pairs with your phone and car to deliver a wealth of information and functions, all via a translucent screen that doesn't block your field of vision.
Unlike the aforementioned Garmin product, the Exploride does a lot more than just display driving directions streamed from your phone. In fact, although it can pair with your phone, it actually relies on its own 4G LTE connectivity for things like Pandora, Spotify, Google Maps and even car-accessible cloud storage.
It also comes with a Bluetooth-capable OBD adapter that plugs directly into your car. That allows the Exploride to display diagnostic data: tire pressure, fuel consumption and so on (though the specifics will vary depending on what your car's computer is capable of reporting).
The Exploride supports gesture-based controls for things like answering calls and skipping tracks, and it even has a 3-megapixel dash cam for capturing sky-streaking meteors and other events.
Because the Indiegogo campaign page doesn't address it, I asked the developer what kind of 4G data options were available. The Exploride will ship unlocked, so you can get a SIM card and service from any GSM carrier. Assuming you select one, the gadget can serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot for everyone in the car. It can also tap your phone's data plan if you prefer.
As for storage, it comes with 8GB, enough for 4.4 hours of 720p dashcam footage (or 9.6 hours if you downshift to VGA). The Exploride companion app will be available for Android and iOS.
Just five days into its crowdfunding campaign, Exploride has already surpassed its $100,000 funding goal. But backers can still get the "featured" perk, which consists of a full kit (Exploride, OBD adapter, charger, and 5GB of storage for one year) for $269. Shipping adds $20, or $30 if you're outside the US. The estimated delivery window is January 2016.