Recon details next-gen GPS goggle technology: Android, Bluetooth, endless fantasies

And you thought those Recon-Zeal Transcend goggles from last fall were hot stuff. Truth be told, they still are, but Recon Instruments' plans for the future make the present seem downright mundane. Here at CES, the company has just revealed its next-generation technology, which should be ingrained in its next line of specs. The big news here is that the revised platform will be based on Android, enabling developers to craft apps and in turn, owners to customize their GPS-enabled goggles in ways not previously possible. Moreover, the technology will be available separately from the company's own eyewear, with a "snap fit" version ready made to work with Uvex, Alpina and Briko products. Wearers will then be able to navigate through the interactive LCD in real-time with the use of a wireless remote, and Recon hopes to eventually craft the first pair of goggles with a real-time navigational system. You'll also get Bluetooth capabilities, allowing users to connect with their smartphones and see their music playlists, caller ID and text messages. Head on past the break for the full rundown, and do your best to not get those hopes too high. As if it's not too late for that already.

Show full PR text

Recon Instruments Announces Next Generation Technology

Recon‐Ready goggles to boast buddy‐tracking, integrated maps, and Bluetooth connection to wireless video camera and smartphone

Las Vegas, January 6, 2011 ‐ CES Best of Innovations winner Recon Instruments has announced its next generation technology today. The new platform will fit into various established brands' Recon‐Ready goggles frames and include even more game‐changers than before. This comes on the heels of this season's immensely successful release of Transcend, the world's first alpine goggles with GPS data viewable through a head mounted display.

Transcend gives real‐time feedback to the user via a micro LCD display including speed, latitude/longitude, altitude, vertical distance travelled, total distance travelled, chrono/stopwatch mode, a run‐counter, temperature and time. It is also the only pair of goggles that boast GPS capabilities, USB charging and data transfer to the post‐processing software, Recon HQ. Transcend was launched in October 2010 in collaboration with high‐end optics partner Zeal Optics, and can currently be seen at resorts and in the backcountry around the world.

Recon Instruments' next generation of direct‐to‐eye communications technology will boast a number of additional groundbreaking features. Recon Instruments' award‐winning technology will be available separately from the goggles and 'snap fit' into a number of Recon‐Ready partner brands including Uvex, Alpina and Briko.

Users will be able to navigate through the state‐of‐the‐art interactive widescreen LCD in real‐time with the use of a wireless remote which can be strapped, clipped, or fastened to the body in any number of secured and convenient positions.

Next generation Recon technology utilizes the Android operating system which will allow Recon Instruments, or other application developers, to create a suite of downloadable apps to personalize their goggles and entire alpine experience. An open API will be offered and Recon will host apps for free or at a low cost at Recon HQ Online later in 2011 (

Integrated Maps and Buddy Tracking
Recon Instruments will offer the first pair of goggles with a real‐time navigational system. The user will be able to locate friends and family on the hill and also navigate their way through unfamiliar resorts across the globe with easy to use, direct‐to‐eye trail maps with the help of the world's largest backcountry and resort map bank from partners such as Mountain Dynamics

Bluetooth Smartphone and Video Integration
The next generation technology will also incorporate Bluetooth capabilities allowing the goggles to connect to the user's smartphone, the first of its kind. Music playlists, caller ID and text messages will be viewable hands‐free, direct‐to‐eye on the hill. The Bluetooth feature will also connect with wireless video cameras so the user can utilize the micro LCD display within the goggles as a viewfinder for the camera, another first.
Recon HQ, the user's base of all activity, will play host to software upgrades and application downloads and will continue to be the log of all activity throughout the season.

Dan Eisenhardt, CEO of Recon Instruments said, "We are proud to follow the successful launch of our first innovation, Transcend, with our next generation technology platform for the Recon‐Ready program. The market was crying out for navigational maps, buddy‐tracking, smartphone capabilities, and wireless video camera capabilities for hands‐free, safe, and fun use in alpine environments. Our answer is to revolutionize the way we use goggles and head‐mounted displays, and we are delighted to bring all these features, and more, to fruition.

"Zeal Optics has been the perfect partner, introducing Transcend to the market with unprecedented success and we look forward to growing our family of world‐class partners with Briko, Alpina and Uvex."