GogglePal marries the exhilaration of flying down a snow-covered mountain on a board or skis with smart technology, placing a unobtrusive augmented reality (AR) heads-up display (HUD) on any pair of goggles. Three levels of models are designed to add fitness and ride data, AR games, and social communication and tracking to an otherwise normal run.
Unlike standalone units like the RideOn and offerings from Recon Instruments, the GogglePal that is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign consists of two components that can be fitted to any regular ski goggles. The actual projection display securely attaches to the goggle lenses with a magnetic button, while the controller pack with a big mitten-friendly button fastens onto your goggle straps. In this manner a user can easily swap GogglePal to a different pair of goggles. Together, the whole unit weighs 58 g (2 oz).
A companion app for iOS can be used with or without the goggles and records stats like speed and vertical drop, maps the route on Google Maps, provides a leaderboard for friends playing together, tracks points earned from games, and provides Facebook integration.
There are three GogglePal models, which are built around the base level Sport model. At this level the user has access to heads-up message notifications for speed, vertical drop, acceleration, air time, rotation, and calories burned, using the controller button to cycle through screens, much like Google Glass. The Connect model adds navigation, presenting heads-up arrows and other cues to locate friends and navigate a resort. Finally, Goggle Pal Play adds a game called Treasure Hunt, which overlays a mountainside with collectible treasure to hunt and leave for friends.
It should be noted that ski resort maps are edited manually, so your favorite mountain may not immediately be in the GogglePal app.
Backers supporting GogglePal can pledge a rate reduced from the estimated retail price, with anticipated delivery of pledge rewards in January 2016 if all goes to plan. A base Sport model requires a US$99 pledge, while the Play with all the features is available for $259.
And if you're not able to read the name "GogglePal Play" without accidentally thinking of its more famous big sibling wearable, it's little wonder. While the alphabetical similarities are coincidental, the look and feel of the HUD and button interface does share some of the aesthetics of Google Glass.
The company suggests that its goggle add-on could be useful in other sports requiring eyewear, such as paintball or skydiving. The market for sports wearables is expanding, with products available for such activities as tennis (Smash wristband), fitness exercises (Atlas), and jumping (Vert clothing clip-on).
You can now pledge for the model of your choice on Kickstarter, where GogglePal is seeking funding.
The video below gives an overview of GogglePal.