Last year, Recon Instruments introduced us to a whole new kind of ski goggle. The futuristic headset provides a heads-up display linked to your Android smartphone for quick viewing of information like speed, distance, altitude, and more. Now the technology has found it’s way to a new set of goggles from one of the world’s top eyewear manufacturers. Oakley’s Airwave goggles went on sale today for $599.99, and represent the merger of the futuristic HUD technology with year’s of experience creating world-class eye gear.
As Oakley puts it on their website, “When your teachers and scientists used to describe what would be possible in the future, Airwave is what they were talking about.” The in-goggle information, which appears at a glance off to the corner of your vision in an unobtrusive manner, recreates the appearance of a 14-inch monitor being viewed from five feet away. For a better idea of what to expect, here is our very own Rob Jackson taking the unbranded Recon Instruments goggles for a spin at CES 2012:
What Oakley and Recon Instruments provide is an experience not unlike what we have seen with Google’s Project Glass, though the ski goggles serve a much more distinct purpose. The experience is a bit narrower, but that’s fine. You’re still just a few button presses of the included wireless remote away from navigational info, GPS location, and the ability to track other snowboarders or skiers in your group.
Paired with an Android device through a provided app, the goggles can also display incoming messages and calls as well as the ability to view music playlists. Low Energy Bluetooth technology allows for the use of heart rate monitors and more. Oakley and Recon might be missing out on a great opportunirty to include camera functionality to capture those exciting downhill runs, but we’d love to see it in future versions.
Going beyond the technology, Airwave has been designed with comfort in mind. The price tag, though steep, is probably worth the HUD/Android interface along, but Oakley goes beyond that with anti-fog lenses, moisture wicking materials, and lightweight construction. You might not want to take them off even after leaving the slopes.
The unisex design is available in two color options, Gun Metal/Black with Black Iridium lenses and White with Fire Iridium lenses. With Switchlock Technology, users can easily change the lenses for one of Oakley’s other various performance options without losing the ability to monitor stats via the goggles’ heads-up display.