Android-powered Recon goggles make snowboarding digital

Don’t you hate it when you’re out snowboarding and it isn’t at all like playing a video game? All that hard work and none of the data like speed, altitude or temperature flashing in front of your face. Well, pick up your thermal socks because Recon Instruments has announced their next generation technology at CES 2011!

The follow-up to Recon’s launch last year – alpine goggles with GPS data viewable through the head mounted display – the next generation Recon Transcend is going to pack even more information into the LCD display. Get ready for data on speed, latitude/longitude, altitude, vertical distance travelled, total distance travelled, chrono/stopwatch mode, a run-counter, temperature and time.

While this may seem like overkill there are actually some really cool features to Transcend beyond the standard ‘meters’. First of all, we really like the Bluetooth capabilities that let you interface with your Android phone to display CallerID, text messages and music playlists right on the LCD display. There are also some really cool applications around integrated maps and buddy tracking allowing you to access direct-to-eye trail maps and even your friends and family on the hill as well as in backcountry.

Perhaps on the overkill side is the video integration that allows you to connect wireless video cameras to the micro LCD display within the goggles as the viewfinder for the camera. But when you see how many people have cameras strapped to their helmets and the sheer volume of badass ski and snowboard videos on YouTube even that’s a pretty sweet feature.

Last and certainly not least, is the news that Recon intededs to create an open SDK for the goggles; expect to see even more Android-powered apps catered to this hardware and market coming soon. Oh, and Recon have teamed with established goggle manufacturers like Uvex, Alpina and Briko who all have “Recon ready” apparel that you can just snap-fit the technology into.

The goggles are navigated using a wireless remote which can be fastened to your body in lots of places but we see this as their only technological shortcoming. Here’s hoping the next generation allows for optical controls.

Stay tuned for information on release date and pricing.

[Gizmodo via Recon]


Recon Instruments Announces Next Generation Technology

Recon-Ready goggles to boast buddy-tracking, integrated maps, and Bluetooth connection to wireless video camera and smartphone
Las Vegas, January 6, 2011 – CES Best of Innovations winner Recon Instruments has announced its next generation technology today. The new platform will fit into various established brands’ Recon-Ready goggles frames and include even more game-changers than before. This comes on the heels of this season’s immensely successful release of Transcend, the world’s first alpine goggles with GPS data viewable through a head mounted display.
Transcend gives real-time feedback to the user via a micro LCD display including speed, latitude/longitude, altitude, vertical distance travelled, total distance travelled, chrono/stopwatch mode, a run-counter, temperature and time. It is also the only pair of goggles that boast GPS capabilities, USB charging and data transfer to the post-processing software, Recon HQ. Transcend was launched in October 2010 in collaboration with high-end optics partner Zeal Optics, and can currently be seen at resorts and in the backcountry around the world.

Recon Instruments’ next generation of direct-to-eye communications technology will boast a number of additional groundbreaking features. Recon Instruments’ award-winning technology will be available separately from the goggles and ‘snap fit’ into a number of Recon-Ready partner brands including Uvex, Alpina and Briko.
Users will be able to navigate through the state-of-the-art interactive widescreen LCD in real-time with the use of a wireless remote which can be strapped, clipped, or fastened to the body in any number of secured and convenient positions.
Next generation Recon technology utilizes the Android operating system which will allow Recon Instruments, or other application developers, to create a suite of downloadable apps to personalize their goggles and entire alpine experience. An open API will be offered and Recon will host apps for free or at a low cost at Recon HQ Online later in 2011 (www.reconinstruments.com).

Integrated Maps and Buddy Tracking
Recon Instruments will offer the first pair of goggles with a real-time navigational system. The user will be able to locate friends and family on the hill and also navigate their way through unfamiliar resorts across the globe with easy to use, direct-to-eye trail maps with the help of the world’s largest backcountry and resort map bank from partners such as Mountain Dynamics.

Bluetooth Smartphone and Video Integration
The next generation technology will also incorporate Bluetooth capabilities allowing the goggles to connect to the user’s smartphone, the first of its kind. Music playlists, caller ID and text messages will be viewable hands-free, direct-to-eye on the hill. The Bluetooth feature will also connect with wireless video cameras so the user can utilize the micro LCD display within the goggles as a viewfinder for the camera, another first.
Recon HQ, the user’s base of all activity, will play host to software upgrades and application downloads and will continue to be the log of all activity throughout the season.

Dan Eisenhardt, CEO of Recon Instruments said, “We are proud to follow the successful launch of our first innovation, Transcend, with our next generation technology platform for the Recon-Ready program. The market was crying out for navigational maps, buddy-tracking, smartphone capabilities, and wireless video camera capabilities for hands-free, safe, and fun use in alpine environments. Our answer is to revolutionize the way we use goggles and head-mounted displays, and we are delighted to bring all these features, and more, to fruition.
“Zeal Optics has been the perfect partner, introducing Transcend to the market with unprecedented success and we look forward to growing our family of world-class partners with Briko, Alpina and Uvex.”


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