Perhaps because I've grown up with video games, or simply because I tailgate left lane campers, I have wanted the "perfect" heads up display. I have lusted over them ever since I saw the Defi VSD Concept
but that has been out of production for years now.
Eventually I bought a GPS based HUD and have been using it for about 2 years. They are fairly inexpensive and pretty idiot proof- plug it in to the cigarette lighter and go. Long term required adding a second, "accessories" run socket to be installed in the fuse box and wiring to be run behind the dash.
A mounting difficulty I ran into is that the curve of the dash is so completely different than the curve of the windshield that you couldn't mount the HUD directly in front of the windshield or in the center of the car or the display would be grossly distorted. Ultimately, I found a spot that projected to the lower left corner of the windshield. It came with a tinted polarized screen that didn't obstruct visibility much and allowed the display to be read in nearly all conditions- even driving into the sun when the speedometer was lost in shadows. Pretty much only hen the sun was directly behind the screen was the display unreadable.
It was great! Now at higher speeds, or poor weather when you don't want to take your eyes off the road, you can still see your speed.
GPS requires satellite acquisition. Depending on time of day, or atmospheric conditions and latitude it may take a while for the unit to start giving you information. It was also possible to lose enough satellites that it blanks out- driving in the city or in tunnels especially. The unit also had a slow reaction time- hard acceleration and twisites were noticeable.
I bought a GM HUD projector from a C6 corvette with a custom wire harness to retrofit into any GM car with a DIC. Perhaps you've noticed how deep the gauge cluster is set? And how close the base of the windshield is? It wouldn't fit. Maybe if the gauge cluster was flush... maybe...
The problem was, at the time, there was only one OBDII HUD option available, and I did not like the display in the least.
Red Knight had posted up pictures of his car Pontiac Solstice "The Red Knight" car pics
in which he uses a HUD app on a tablet. The app is really awesome, but for normal driving, I have not found a phone or tablet bright enough for daytime use.
I'd paid close attention to how GM rigs their projectors- it was wonderfully simple. A very bright display was aimed at a mirror that reversed the display and projected it to the windshield where it was righted. I looked as digital and analog gauges but found nothing satisfactory or bright enough.
But, options are finally starting to become available. I recently ordered an S-300 on ebay
Vertical bar for RMP, speed in big, green numbers and a decent choice of things to display in red above. The fatal flaw: Metric only. The guys were great about it, even though the unit was listed correctly and I discounted for my assumptions that it read MPH and KPH, they offered me an exchange. So I sent it back and just got in the next model down, the S-200
The S-200 is smaller and has fewer options and displays, but reads in real measurements, not that silly metric system all those conformists use (not to mention Nazis, Commies and Al Queida). It reads speed, RPM (x10), coolant temp, battery voltage and Throttle angle (? maybe % open?)
The weather isn't very nice today, so I don't have any pictures or videos in use, just some in the driveway.
Like the GPS based HUD, it projects onto a small polarized panel. It has a ribbon cable that goes through seams between panels easily and is long enough to easily reach the "peak" of the instrument cluster, probably the center of the dash, while slipping behind the panel in the door jam.
When I am truly happy with the HUD unit I get, I plan to set it into the dash, directly in front of the driver, like a factory unit would. I am satisfied for the moment, but it is merely a respite at Castle Anthrax before the quest continues.