SenseDriver Technologies will be one of the healthtech companies exhibiting their product at the HealthTech Ventures Network Conference (HTVNC) this year. After a strong media reception during the unveiling of their heads up display, SenseHUD, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year, SenseDriver has been spending the past several months further refining their HUD and preparing it for market. They are now looking forward to their next exhibition at HTVNC in Boston.
For those of you unfamiliar with SenseDriver Technologies or heads up displays (I was once one of these people) –the best way I can describe it to you is this: You know in the movies –when fighter pilots are flying their jets while looking at a fancy display of their speed and metrics on the windshield in front of them? That’s the same kind of technology that SenseDriver is attempting to bring to the average person as they drive down the road in their Honda Civic. They believe that connected driving should happen in the safest way possible, so their heads up display allows drivers to navigate and communicate while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
The head up display hardware is called SenseHUD. It’s an aftermarket product that mounts to any car’s dashboard. You place your smart phone into SenseHUD and it opens an app on your phone which cues a driving assistant called Hudson. Hudson helps you interact with your phone through voice activation while SenseHUD displays all the relevant information onto your field of vision.
Since its debut at CES, SenseHUD has undergone some fine-tuning. The SenseDriver team has simplified the software’s command sets to make them as easy as possible for the driver. Hudson is designed to walk the driver through a series of processes as simply and quickly as possible so that the driver’s attention remains on the road. Iconography is paired with minimal text to deliver digestible chunks of information so that over time the user’s interaction with the software becomes more intuitive. Instead of opening up lengthy decision processes for the driver, Hudson gives them a few simple options to quickly compete their task. For example, through a simple command, the driver can choose how to deal with an incoming call by dismissing it, replying with a voice text or issuing an automated reply.
Michael Amaru, the Co-Founder of SenseDriver Technologies explains his philosophy, “I come from the school of thought that less is more in communication design,” Amaru says. “It’s about delivering the important information as quickly as possible. That need exists even more in the automotive environment with all the distractions and with new technologies being integrated into the car. At SenseDriver, we feel that with safety as our starting point, we can be the leaders in defining what the connected car experience is in the name of safer interaction.”
The SenseDriver team has also made improvements to the SenseHUD hardware. A unilateral microphone hones in on the access point of spoken commands in order to minimize false positives that could frustrate drivers. They also switched the display to a frameless glass to further reduce the visual impact the HUD has on the driver. Speakers were added to the HUD so that commands and communications between the user and the software can be heard above music playing in the background.
SenseDriver has been exploring strategic partnerships in the consumer electronics space, including music providers, wireless providers and distribution partners. A prototype of SenseHUD will be on display at their exhibit at HTVNC this Saturday, Sept. 19. Amaru reports that SenseDriver’s website is currently accepting names on a waiting list to guarantee customers early editions of SenseHUD.
Amaru ended by describing his vision of SenseHUD’s place in the connected car industry. “We see the connected car as an emerging market. Who will own that market is yet to be defined. We believe there is a race between an aftermarket solution and an automaker solution and we want the aftermarket car solution to lead. SenseDriver will deliver connected car features to our customers for use in their current car so they don’t have to wait years for an expensive automaker’s upgrade in order to enjoy a connected car.”