Augmented-reality eyewear is taking the extreme sports scene by storm, but only a few HUD options will help you DO:MORE in the middle of the action.
Google Glass is just one model in a long line of soon-to-be-released HUD glasses suitable for extreme sports and adventuring. The alternatives here equip athletes and adventurers with all the tools they need to get the most out of a successful day of landing insane tricks and reaching higher summits.
Here are the best HUD glasses for extreme athletes and adventurers.
Price: $599, Available February 2014
Made by the Vancouver-based company that previously dominated augmented reality on the snow with the MOD Live, the Recon Jet takes the lessons the company learned from their smart goggle devices and drastically improves upon them. Running on Android 4.2, the Recon Jet is packed with a suite of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure and temperature gauges and HD camera. It also includes an integrated speaker, microphone and compact display that provides a viewing experience equivalent to watching a 30-inch HDTV from seven feet away.
Unlike Google Glass, the Recon Jet is designed specifically with athletes like cyclists, runners and triathletes in mind. The first batch of Recon Jets ship in February. To be one of the early adopters, you’ll have to order yours today.
Price: TBD, Release date TBD
Vuzix did away with the glasses altogether with their M100, opting for a headband and eye piece design. Vuzix describes the M100 as an “intelligent hands-free display for smartphones.” If the other HUD glasses seem to bulky for your needs, the lightweight design of the M100 is for you. By connecting to your smart device, the AR glasses grant access to all applications. It includes an integrated head tracker and GPS for spacial and positional awareness so you can pick and choose routes on the fly or determine your jump distance before you take off. Additionally, the integrated camera enables video recording and still image capture.
Price: $299, Available February 2014
GlassUp believes there’s no need for a camera when you’re navigating your motorbike from point A to point B or getting historical player stats during a live sporting event. GlassUp connects via Bluetooth to Android, Apple or Windows devices and will go for as low as $299 when it hits shelves in February 2014. To reserve your pair, pitch in $299 to the indigogo campaign today. This ensures you receive a pair even if the organizers don’t reach their goal.
Vergence Labs Epiphany Eyewear
Price: $299-$499, Available before 2014
Vergence Labs and their line of Epiphany Eyewear pulls athletes in with style, but makes them stay with function. You can purchase a pair today, receive them before 2014 and begin taking 720p videos before you know it. Epiphany Eyewear’s plastic titanium frames are unobtrusive and come fitted with electrically-activated polarized lenses that change tints with the push of a button. While other HUD glasses provide the means to perform a plethora of actions, the Epiphany concentrates on being able to take stunning, hands-free video during any extreme activity.
Innovega with iOptik
Price: TBD, Available 2014 or 2015
Due to peripheral coverage limitations of traditional frames, even tomorrow’s eyewear promises to fall short of offering a truly immersive AR experience. When paired with a futuristic contact lens, however, augmented reality becomes more than just an idea. With this type of approach, digital imagery can be superimposed over the real world. That’s the concept behind Seattle-based Innovega’s iOptik technology. With funding by DARPA, Innovega hopes to have an iOptik prototype ready any day now. The military will be receiving the AR glasses first, followed by the general public in 2014 or 2015.