Intel and Oakley pack a fitness tracker and AI coach into a pair of shades

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The Oakley Radar Pace is a pair of shades with a built-in fitness tracker and AI coach(Credit: Oakley)

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As useful as they are, wearable fitness trackers aren't usually the height of fashion themselves, with many devices blending away out of sight on your wrist or ankle. Now Intel and Luxottica have teamed up to put a fitness tracker front and center on your face, stashing various biometric sensors and a voice-activated AI coach into a stylish, custom-designed pair of Oakley shades.

At first glance, Oakley's Radar Pace looks like a normal set of sunglasses, albeit one with a pair of removable ear buds. But packed into that frame is Bluetooth connectivity, a microphone for voice commands and phone calls, and a Samsung Gear VR-style touchpad on the left temple that registers taps and swipes to play music, adjust volume and answer calls.

Using an accelerometer and gyroscope, and sensors for pressure, humidity and proximity, Oakley's Radar Pace tracks the usual metrics of a wearer's workout, including their power output, heart rate, speed, cadence, time, pace and distance. Training through running and cycling are the main focus of the glasses.

Where the glasses set themselves apart in an overcrowded market is in what they do with the collected data. While most trackers will monitor similar metrics, throw them into a nice graph and call it a day, the Radar Pace uses machine learning algorithms to adapt to an individual user's routines and progress, and build a customized training plan based on user-defined goals. In that sense, it sounds a fair bit like LifeBeam's Vi, a recently-crowdfunded AI trainer embedded in a wearable band, right down to the little voice that cheers you on or pushes you to do better.

During a workout, the system keeps an eye on a user's stats and can automatically adjust the routine to make it easier or harder. If a session is skipped, the Pace factors that in, changing upcoming workouts to keep the user on track to hit their goal.

Communicating with the device is a two-way street, too. Built around Intel's Real Speech system, users can simply ask out loud for specific stats and have the Radar Pace dictate the answer, removing the need to fumble for a mid-run glance at a smartwatch or phone. That said, the device can sync to other trackers via Bluetooth to build a more thorough biometric snapshot, and to phones to set fitness goals and view stats in the iOS and Android app.

The Oakley Radar Pace is available now from the Oakley website and in Oakley stores in North America, Australia and Europe. For US$449, the Radar Pace comes with a charging cable, the ear buds and a case.

The team discusses the design process and functions in the video below.

Sources: Intel, Luxottica

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