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Recon’s new Pilot Edition Jet is like Google Glass for really sweaty people

Soon, Google Glassholes won’t be the only nerds roaming the world, viewing data with their eye wear. Thanks to Recon Instruments, athletes can look even more cyborgish in a new pair of the company’s Pilot Edition of their Jet head up display sunglasses.

The Pilot Edition, announced today at CE Week in New York City, is powered by an onboard 1 GHz dual core processor. The Jet also features an HD camera, dedicated graphics, Wi-Fi, ANT+, Bluetooth, and GPS, allowing the shades to communicate with smartphones and performance sensors that can report metrics like heart rate, cadence, and power output for cyclists and pace for runners. It’s like wearing a laptop on your face, only it’s much lighter, blocks some ultraviolet rays, and looks like the lovechild of a Bluetooth earpiece and some late 80s Oakley Blades.

This new Jet not only gives athletes the real-time performance data; it also allows visual access to text messages and incoming phone caller ID right in the glasses, All of this controlled by a touch-pad on the glasses’ arm that can be used while wearing gloves and in wet weather.

Recon Instruments is not new to heads up displays. Their technology is what powers the Oakley Airwave and Zeal Optics Z3 GPS Live ski and snowboard goggles. We’ve tried Recon’s HUD on the goggles and were impressed with how easy it was to see the displays. The data comes up in the lower right hand corner of the field of vision and sits quietly waiting to be viewed. We found it simple to view both the data and what was physically in front of us without being distracted. Having this technology on a pair of glasses seems like a logical next step.

Recon team cyclist and 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie is understandably excited about the Pilot Edition. “Throughout my 19-year career, I was always fascinated by wearable technology and I think it is incredible how Recon Instruments has managed to develop a HUD for sunglasses while keeping the fit of the sunglasses balanced and comfortable,” he says. “It will make a tremendous difference for cyclists not to have to look down at their bike computer or smartphone for data, taking their focus away from their activity. I can see these being a big hit in the peloton.”

That last bit, for American sports fans, refers to the large pack of riders that makes up the front of a cycling field during a race.

According to Recon, the HUD technology adds only 28 grams to the total weight of the sunglasses. It could be nice simply glancing at the data rather than turning to a cycling computer or a running watch. And, while you may appear nerdy wearing the Jet, at least you won’t spend the day talking to your glasses like some Google Glass-wearing dork.

A limited release of the Pilot Edition is available for pre-oder today, June 26, 2013, in the Recon online store for $499.

Lee Crane
Lee Crane's career in action sports spans print, TV, and digital media; his work and handsome mug have appeared in and on Fox…
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