If you thought that the Transcend Ski Goggles featuring head-mounted display technology were special, then you're going to love what Recon Instruments currently has under development. The company sees its next generation iteration being capable of wirelessly connecting with smartphones and video cameras, of displaying detailed trail maps, and of being able to locate and track friends and family on the slopes.
Using similar micro-LCD direct-to-eye communications technology as that found in the Transcend goggles, Recon will be able to show the wearer detailed trail maps provided by development partners like Mountain Dynamics, to help with navigation through unfamiliar resorts and slopes. The built-in navigational system will also allow users to locate and display friends and family, and it's intended that the new technology will be available as a snap-in module that will fit into the frames of Recon-Ready goggles manufactured by the likes of Uvex, Alpina and Briko.
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Bluetooth capabilities will see the goggles wirelessly connecting with a user's smartphone, for hands-free call notification and caller ID or display of text messages and so on. Recon says that such functionality should also allow it to hook up to wireless video cameras to turn the micro-LCD display into an in-goggle viewfinder.
The Recon-Ready system is yet another outing for the Android operating system, which allows Recon, and third party developers, to create downloadable apps for the system to personalize the viewing experience.
The snap-fit module will be available for US$299 (not including goggle frames) and users will use a wireless remote to interact with the real-time, widescreen LCD display projection. Recon told us that the technology will be available in time for the next skiing season.