Instead of looking at a sat nav or mobile phone while driving, a new gadget turns your car’s windscreen into a giant display so you can follow directions and take calls without looking away from the wheel.

Navdy is a 5.1-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) that sits on your car’s dashboard. Connecting to a smartphone using low-energy Bluetooth and wi-fi to a smartphone, a transparent image is projected onto the windscreen, where it appears to float six feet in front of the driver.

Information that can be displayed includes turn-by-turn navigation instructions from Google Maps, incoming calls, social networking alerts and text messages.

Nardy HUD display showing projection on 5-inch screen

It’s virtually a hands-free device as well - instead of buttons Navdy responds to voice commands and touch-less gesture controls. Built-in noise cancellation helps ensure clarity and works with voice software built into your phone – be it Siri on the iPhone or Google Voice on an Android device.

As well as a simple interface, alerts appear unobtrusively on the side of the display to ensure you don’t get distracted while driving.

Nardy HUD display split screen

This is not the first time we’ve seen this type of technology in use. The Garmin Head-Up Display connects to a smartphone and projects directions onto a transparent film mounted on the windshield.

Another HUD solution, Hudway, works slightly differently, instead of a dedicated device it’s an app that works with Apple smartphones. The phone sits on the car’s dashboard and projects speed and distance information onto the windscreen.

Compatible with any car Navdy is set to launch in early 2015. Pre-order it for an introductory price of $299 (£178) plus $10 (£6 shipping), it rises to $499 (£296) in September.

HUD displays are commonly used in fighter jets to ensure that pilots don’t get distracted by the screens and dials of traditional cockpits.