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Today's smartphones may often include GPS alongside all sorts of other useful data, but typically you need your hands to access it. Not an option, then, for skiiers on their way down a mountain at 75 km per hour. Now, however, Canadian Recon Instruments has come up with a solution: GPS-enabled goggles with a head-mounted display system.
Created in partnership with Colorado’s Zeal Optics, Recon's Transcend goggles provide real-time feedback for skiers and other snow sports enthusiasts including speed, latitude/longitude, altitude, vertical distance travelled, total distance travelled, chrono/stopwatch mode, a run-counter, temperature and time. Also included in the goggles are GPS capabilities, USB charging and data transfer, and free post-processing software that can overlay the user's runs onto satellite imagery, enabling him or her to play back, store and re‐live each trip to the mountain. Priced starting at CAD 429, several days' worth of data can be stored at once on the 257-gram goggles, and the battery offers a run time of between six and eight hours. Information displayed in the micro LCD appears to hang six feet in front of the user; “glove-friendly” buttons, meanwhile, help navigate the full-color dashboard and feature screens. Launched in October 2010, Recon's Transcend SPPX 2010 model — fitted with an SPPX polarized and photochromic lens — sold out shortly thereafter; new availability is scheduled for February.
No end in sight to the new applications of GPS technology. Sports and outdoors retailers around the globe: one to offer your adventure-minded fans? (Related: Brand uses GPS to bring prizes to winners' homes — GPS collar tag helps owners find lost pets — Mobile apps hit the slopes.)