Cell phones are one of the greatest — and potentially deadliest — distractions for drivers. That’s why Spade Techs has developed the iScout, a Head-Up Display (HUD) that connects to your smartphone and vehicle, projecting all the relevant data you need as a virtual image hovering in front of you.

This device makes driving safer because information, such as fuel levels and speed, are displayed directly in your line of sight, meaning you don’t need to shift your focus from road to phone and back again. The device, which connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth, lets drivers accept or reject calls with the wave of their hand or compose texts via dictation.The Singapore-based company’s CEO Nikhil Jit Singh explains how iScout seeks to revolutionize the way we drive.

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Why did you decide to develop iScout?

My friend and co-founder of Spade Techs met with a serious car accident about three years back. It happened because he was distracted by a phone call he received. He just took a quick glimpse at the phone but it turned out to be near-fatal for him. He described his experience to me and we realized that there are lots of distractions while driving. Even if you are not using your phone, you still need to look at your GPS navigation screen, or your car dashboard to look at speed, fuel level etc. But when a driver takes his eyes off the road, even if it's for a short duration, it's very dangerous. We decided to find a solution to this. After a lot of research, and exploring several options, we designed iScout.

Do you want to redefine how we drive?

The iScout lets you focus on driving without having to worry about getting distracted or getting yourself or anyone hurt. While iScout lets you keep your eyes where they belong – on the road. You never have to worry about having to look away to access any of the information you require while driving.

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How does iScout work?

iScout's unique feature is its Head-Up Display. The optical design has a pico projector screen combiner arrangement that displays a transparent virtual image in front of the driver. 

Could the display obstruct the driver’s vision while driving?

The device will be placed just below the driver's natural road view. So the driver will not be looking through the screen at all times. Whenever the driver wishes to check the display, he can look down at the screen. Because the screen is transparent, he will be able to simultaneously view the display and the road at the same time. It does not obstruct the driver’s vision.

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Is it not dangerous reviewing smartphone notifications while driving?

You may choose to turn off cell phone notifications if you don't wish to receive them. But if you want to view your notification, looking at a transparent screen without losing sight of the road is much safer than looking down on your phone and completely taking your eyes away from the road. Cell phone notification display is just one of the features of iScout. Other essential information like GPS navigation, car speed, fuel level, blind spot view etc are needed while driving. iScout makes it safer to view these.

—Daniel Casillas