Gear Watch: GPS-Enabled Goggles with Heads-Up Display

In an industry first, the Recon-Zeal Transcend Goggles incorporate an integrated GPS unit that displays real-time data right in front of your face using a heads-up display. Downhillers can now see a range of real-time information that appears to hover five to six feet in front of their eyes, including speed, altitude, distance traveled, vertical descent, stopwatch, temperature, and time, among other things.

The display is located in the lower right area of vision and is designed to not interfere with normal straight-ahead sightlines; users glance down to check the latest stats. Large glove-friendly buttons are located on the side of the goggles. A rechargeable lithium battery provides 6-8 hours of charge. You can connect the goggles to your computer to download all of the day's data. The goggles are available in two styles, which vary based on the type of lenses used (the lenses are from Zeal Optics). A polarized and photochromatic version runs $499; just polarized, $399.

As slick as these goggles are, Recon Instruments has already announced that their next generation version will operate on an Android-based platform allowing developers to create specialized applications for the goggles' display—and allow users to navigate the goggle menus and functions using a wireless remote. Here's the press release for more.

It's all part of a rapidly growing trend of "augmented reality" technology that seeks to incorporate additional information into user's visual surroundings. In the very near future, you will almost certainly be able to slip on a pair of augmented reality ski goggles and have your location pinpointed precisely on a ski area map as you cruise down the various runs, keeping track of all the relevant data as you go.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.