Monday, March 6, 2017

Blazing New Trails

**Given the difficult nature of capturing Navdy’s projected display on film, this picture is not fully representative of how Navdy’s display actually appears during use.

My alarm went off much sooner than I expected and I fumbled in the dark reaching out for the electronic glow that mocked by feeble attempts to grasp it. My fingers groped across my nightstand until my fingertips made contact with the watch band. I felt the wood of the nightstand, air, then the lamp.. I had it for a minute but couldn't quite grasp the motor skills required to turn it off.  I couldn't navigate in the dark.

After what seemed like minutes but was probably only seconds those seemingly elongated moments seemed to stretch out. It seems to stretch when you alarm goes off and your significant other's does not. I managed to find the button to end the siren's song ushering me into early morning darkness.

Methodically, I swung my legs over the side of the bed like an old man getting into a boat from a high dock and stood up listening to more cracks and groans than I expected, The warm sheets left me like an old snakeskin ready for it to become new. It was time to wake up and seize the day. Today was the day that I would blaze a new trail. Today, I would be returning to work for the first time in almost ten years.

It was an adjustment for sure, waking up first, getting the coffee first, and saying goodbye first. I suddenly experienced the goodbye hugs my wife would get everyday as she rushed out the door to work instead of the dismissive jump from the minivan as I waited for the kisses on my cheek that never came.

I was in new territory and unfamiliar with how I should be feeling. There was a sense of excitement and of dread. I drank my morning coffee hoping the familiar would calm my nerves. Experiencing something unknown is the sort of scary that slowly creeps up on you. It's that same sensation you get when you travel to another place you've never been to before but you're not really sure how to get there.

In times of uncertainty, we like to know just how our path is laid out. We want assurance that our way is clear and safe and that no matter how we get there, it's done safely. I needed to focus on the road ahead of me as a blazed the new trail. And so, as I prepared to make the drive to start something new, I used the one tool that consistently gets me where I want to go, a navigation system.

The Navdy isn't your everyday navigation system though. Navdy enables simple, gesture-based access to the phone functions drivers need most and projects everything to appear directly in their line of sight on the road ahead. No more looking down at your phone when a call comes in on your way to work. Just swiping your hand left or right lets Navdy know if you are accepting or rejecting the call. Put it through, and you will answer your phone right through the Navdy.

When we bought our minivan we were dead set against the extra money it would cost to put in a navigation system in 2011. Now, you can't find a car that doesn't have one. But with Navdy, it's different because it is plugged directly into your own car. You control Navdy through the free app on Google Play and Apple App Store. When you get into your car, Navdy automatically connects to your phone through Bluetooth.

Navdy projects things like speed, navigation maps, make an receive calls, and read your texts by setting up Glances. It can even play the songs you have on your phone which you control with the use of a click-wheel that you mount on your steering wheel. And when it is time to shut it down, the Navdy unit detaches magnetically to the base for storage out of sight.

The display showed up well in the dark as I headed to school and I followed Navdy's directions right to my own parking spot. Unfamiliar with the road, I kept a close watch on the display speedometer which now only showed me my speed, but based on the location, what the speed limit was on that road. That certainly helped when I was so focused on getting there that I didn't see the police car watching for speeders until I passed it.  It helped me maintain the proper speed limit even when I didn't see a sign or know what the speed limit was all my GPS location.

The first day I used it, I was headed home and events that were in my Google calendar showed up as reminders as well as an option to select to navigate to that location. All I had to do was select an address and Navdy pulled it up on my screen. But by far the best feature is that the Navdy will read the texts that are sent to you, giving you the option to respond, call, ignore the message, or let people know that you are driving and you're not able to respond by using the click wheel mounted on the steering wheel. Recently, Navdy inventors dropped the retail price to$499 or $28/month for 18 months at 0% financing, a small price to pay for the safety of everyone you care about in your cars.

The Navdy, like me, is a trail blazer. It makes driving safer by keeping our eyes on the road where they belong and not down at our phones.  I for one am excited about where Navdy is going to take me and I know that getting there will be half the fun.

Disclaimer : This post is sponsored by Navdy and I was provided compensation for this post. Look for more posts this year about the adventures my family and I have with Navdy. 

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