Heads Up Controls For Your IPod

[Cmonaco3’s] girlfriend wanted a better way to control her iPod when driving. She didn’t want to take her eyes of the road and asked him if he could help. He ended up building a heads up display which reads out track information and offers a few simple buttons for control.

The display includes controls for track forward, track back, and play/pause. Those buttons, along with the LCD screen, mount on the windshield using a suction cup. This way the driver doesn’t have to completely remove focus from the road to control the iPod which is sitting in the passenger’s seat.

To accomplish this [Cmonaco] used a dock connector breakout board for communication between an Arduino and the iPod. The Arduino pulls song information to be displayed on the graphic LCD screen, and sends commands to the iPod when it detects a button push. See a quick demo of the setup after the break.

[Thanks Chris]

21 thoughts on “Heads Up Controls For Your IPod

    1. MrDan: The answer to your question is in the first paragraph of the instructable: Those of you that have or have had an iPod touch know that it’s not the easiest thing to read while driving. To see the song information you have to double tap the home button and then still the text is extremely small.”

      Aaron: The purpose of many of the projects on here is simply to learn. There are often store-bought solutions for the problems we solve ourselves, but that is simply not the point. Do you understand why your attitude is not welcome here?

      1. I didn’t pick up any attitude from him. Just 2 legit questions. I think people have a hard time reading in their own attitudey voice (I can make my own words if I want). Like in Seinfeld when George got a text book on tape so he didn’t have to read in his own “whiny” voice, to only get it in a voice almost identical to his own.

  1. Kinda like the Drive n play from harmon kardon a few years (quite a few now). I have one in my car, but only likes to play with older devices. I was thinking of hacking it and figuring out the serial protocol for the display.

  2. Not a real HUD. This is just a display and control buttons. It is like my gps on a suction cup. Still distracting and NOT keeping my eyes on the road if I look at it or want to change something (I always pull over to make changes.) I was hoping for a projection on the windshield :P

    I have to agree with the poster above. Why not just put the ipod on a suction mount? It is an OK display to glance at it but anything else would still distract the driver.

  3. Or the careless driver could just listen to whatever is playing and worry about how she’s driving instead.

    Or just put it on shuffle and forget about it.

    Exactly how important is it that they can pick and choose a particular track while driving?

    What is it with people today and their tiny little brains that have to be awash with music 24/7?

  4. @Cmonaco3 it’s been slowly easing back into the bash anything you don’t like or bash anything a hobbyist does or might like. HAD made some pretty strict rules a while back about all the harsh negative postings. Many of us wanted vote up/down buttons for the comments and I think it’s time to revist that option. The trolls and a**holes here need to be voted down so we can ignore them and get on with the business of showing off our builds without the fear of getting slammed because we used an arduino or we built it in our garage or we don’t have PhD’s in Electrical Engineering. It’s funny when the Richard Craniums here want to “PURCHASE” a project they deam worthy, not build the project.

    It would be nice if HAD could be a fun learning environment. It is from time to time. Honestly, if you don’t like an article or a project move on to a different one, you don’t have to criticise the projects you decide are unworthy. Try adding something positive to your community for a change.

    1. While I hear what you are saying you do have to realize the world is not all bubble gum and lollipops. If you place something on a public forum you should expect people to voice their opinions. If you did not want peoples opinions than you should not have put it in a public place. Tell only your friends who will placate you. I do think it shows some good skills at hacking, but I do agree that it is not a true HUD. I also agree with Vonskippy. I have known people to die because of these exact kinds of distractions. I actually think putting the screen in the bottom left corner to be almost as bad as placing the phone there. To be truly safe it would have to be controlled blindly. The only real way to do that is have very distinct buttons that can be read by your fingers. I myself just load up a good channel on pandora and concentrate on my driving.

      1. Also, HAD is an excellent learning environment. Remember the best way to learn is by making mistakes, and there is no way to know you made any mistakes if no one tells you. Yes, you can even learn from opinionated people. Take criticism as advice and make it better next time. What else would push you? most people on HAD are not being motivated by money. Just a need to make things better.

      2. @dude I think you are missing the point. I am not disagreeing that it’s not a HUD and I am not saying that people shouldn’t expect comments on what they post. But honestly what is the point of a negative comment that adds nothing to the discussion or is not at least constructive criticism. Why just make a comment about an arduino being a poor choice without giving a better alternative, if there truly is one? And honestly why is it a poor choice if someone is using it as a learning platform, it is easy to obtain, and the programming is relatively simple for the beginner and quick fix hobbyist alike.

        Fine you might be able to role your own compiler, etch your own copper and silicon, have a $5K 3D printer, etc etc, but not everyone has access to those things, not everyone wants or needs all those things. Or maybe you know how to do it with fishing line and a pulley system, fine write your own article, don’t whine about someone else’s.

        Yes the better “hack” here might be showing your girlfriend/significant other/whatever how to use shuffle, create a playlist, or maybe delete the unwanted songs off their mp3 player, and teaching them to be a more alert/attentive driver. But you must know if they don’t have this distraction them they will find another.

        And your right, making mistakes is part of learning. But telling someone there project sucks or is stupid is not helping them make a better project. Try focusing on what you can do to help and make things better instead of the exact opposite. Surely you understand this, you pretty mush said it yourself. Keep in mind that most hackers aren’t people that keep dark secrets and only give help in the form of spouting off RTFM you tard! Most are actually very helpful and will willingly show you how to do it better or at least different, and then they might point you towards a manual where you can really dive in and expand your horizons. Teaching a man to fish involves more than arbitrarily pointing and telling them the fishing stuff is over there somewhere.

  5. To all the people that negatively comment. Where are your hacks? oh that’s right….

    The text was small so he made it bigger.
    The interface was shit so he simplified it.

    Still a hack in my book. Put the trolls back under the bridge.

  6. While this is not the windscreen display many expect to see when they read the term heads up, but it is a head up display in the sense it keeps the roadway closer to the drivers field of vision that the driver using a display near the instrument panel. Not any more or any less dangerous than a driver using the AC/heater controls or the radio controls. This auxiliary display and control for the iPod and it’s placement look safer than many factory radio installations. So it uses an arduino to make this happen, big deal. I can’t find fault with the project, build or the instructable. But I put less effort in that regard than some. :)

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