New Canadian-made technology lets you see your speed & locationImagine a pair of ski goggles that lets you know how fast you’re skiing, your air time, the temperature, the elevation and the number of runs you’ve done. And that’s just the beginning with the micro-dashboard technology from Vancouver’s Recon Instruments. The company has developed a Micro Optics Display (MOD) that mounts into compatible goggles made by Uvex, Alpina and Briko. Add Recon’s MOD Live, and you also get Blue-tooth for wireless connection to smart phones, MP3 players and video cameras. It even supports Android apps. “There’s really no limit to what anyone can create and upload,” says Recon’s spokesman Oliver Springgay. “We’re excited to see where this can go.”
Cost: MOD $300, MOD Live $400
A Lilliputian version of your LCD widescreen sits down and to the right inside the lens of the goggle, just out of your direct eye line but within easy peripheral vision. Normally your eyes would have to refocus to view a screen so close, but Recon uses mirrors and prisms to augment the image so the LCD appears to be 14 inches high and five feet away. “It’s the optimal distance to view the screen clearly without having to refocus,” Springgay says.
Like a gaming joystick, the control pad is easy to use even with gloves on and can be positioned anywhere you want. Strap it to your wrist or attach it to your belt. The buttons allow you to scroll through MOD’s various data screens and with the Live version, you can answer phone calls, send pre-programmed texts, view and control a video camera, scroll through a playlist or interact with an app.
Thanks to those ever-shrinking chips, this 4.5 by 4 by 1 cm black box contains a GPS, three accelerometers, an air-pressure gauge, a Bluetooth transmitter and a mini-computer to process it all. At the end of the day, a USB port lets you download your data using Recon HD, the company’s user-friendly free software.
A rechargeable battery sits on the other side of the goggle, out of sight and mind, connected to MOD by a cable that runs across the top. An included plug recharges the unit to 80 per cent in one hour, 100 per cent in three hours. A full charge lasts eight hours, or six hours with the power-hungry MOD Live.
MOD-compatible goggles are a little thicker than normal to fit the unit. The lens can be removed for easy installation and a harness sits on either side to hold the MOD and battery securely.