The Next Wave Of Ski Goggles Has Arrived

Ski goggles have remained largely unchanged since the advent of tinting. The same basic style has dominated the market and, though the lenses have gotten stronger and lighter, there have been very few real improvements on the design — until now.

The good people over at Oakley have spent the last 15 years working to make the perfect goggle.

How? They’ve added a heads up display. Their Airwave goggles have a tiny HUD in the lower right corner of the lens. Need to know fast you’re going so you can brag to your friends? The Airwaves have you covered. They can also tell you via inbuilt GPS you’re location, altitude, and the distance you’ve travelled so you can be rescued when your blazing speed gets you lost. Just land a killer jump?

The Airwaves will tell you what your hang time was. And, for those of us who just can’t be away from work, even when careening down a mountainside, the Airwaves will hook up to your smartphone or tablet. You know, just in case you want to read your email instead of paying attention to the tree that you’re hurtling toward. As an added bonus, if you’re tired of hearing the sounds of nature and the swish of powder under your skis, you can load up your favourite skiing music and change songs using the handy controller that’s strapped to your wrist.

Not to be outdone, Recon Instruments have put every technological marvel that went into the Airwave into a removable module — the MOD Live Heads Up Display — which can be inserted into any set of Recon Ready goggles. It sits in the lower right corner and simulates the viewing experience of a 14" screen seen from five feet away.

However, since technology is all about one-upmanship, Recon have gone the extra mile and added support for augmented reality using a Contour camera. When you look around with the camera, it sends the visual to your HUD, attaching labels to the obstacles you’re skiing toward that show their distance from you. And, if you really can’t stand to be separated from society for one instant, Recon have also added support for Facebook, running through an Android application.

Each time you catch some wicked air, your goggles will upload a graphic to Facebook detailing your jump distance, height, and the unbelievable hang time you achieved. Any awed comments will pop up in the display. You friends will never doubt again.

Claire Jenkins has worked in the snow sports industry for the past 5 years, working at various resorts in Austria, Canada and France. She is currently working with Chill Factore as a freelance writer sharing her experience of snow sports. Chill Factore is the largest indoor ski slope in Britain.

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