If you’ve been waiting for your own personal heads-up display (HUD) goggles since you first saw The Terminator, here’s some good news: the wait is over. More good news: instead of helping you kill Sarah Connor, this new pair of goggles from Recon Instruments will help you hit the slopes with more convenience than ever before.
Recon first captured the attention of techie skiers and snowboarders a couple years ago when it teamed up with Zeal Optics to create the Transcend — a pair of goggles with a HUD that could show information on your speed and location via GPS. Two years later, however, Recon has added all kinds of new functionality and features. Its latest model, the MOD LiveView HUD, has new software from Active Network that allows the wearer to access more than just speed and location data, but things like weather conditions, lift availability, and navigational information. Google showcased the latest prototype of the Android-powered device at Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco.
This latest build is the first to feature Active’s RTP LiveView integration — an augmented reality application that can deliver real-time navigational information. No more stopping at trail maps to figure out your route down the slopes; once you’re off the lift you can just go. Worried about lines? Just use the buttons on the side of the goggles to check wait times and plan your descent accordingly.
Other nifty features, such as geotagging, video capture, and buddy tracking have been added as well. Cool applications of the other features aside, the geotagging utility could be particularly useful in a number of different situations. Imagine being able to tag the glove you just dropped off the lift, your secret snow stash in the backwoods, or your car that was buried by a blizzard. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
Recon’s heads-up displays can pop into goggles from major companies including Scott, Smith, and Alpina, but some questions remain to be answered. For instance: How well will the HUD perform in varying levels of ambient light? A transparent display with overlaid graphics might be easily visible when you’re cruising through a shady tree run, but might be a bit more difficult to see on an open slope under full sunlight. To be truly useful though, the display will need to be capable of quickly adapting to different environments.
Recon says the MOD Live HUD will go on sale in the fall, but pricing hasn’t yet been announced.