It's like skiing on the mountain and playing a video game at the same time. Zeal Optics, maker of sports lenswear has partnered with display maker Recon Instruments to come up with the Transcend GPS ski goggles and the units became available for sale this week. Zeal goes so far as to call them the world's first GPS-equipped goggles.
The goggles do more than simply tell you stuff like what runs you've skied, or where the heck you are after telemarking in the back country all day while pounding schnapps. They include a dashboard that logs speed, altitude and temperature, vertical odometer, distance and the time, plus stopwatch and chronos modes, because for GPS lovers, there's no such thing as too much information.
Then via an LCD display mounted on the inside lens, they virtually project your dashboard so that it appear to hang about six feet in front of you.
The dashboard can be controlled by glove-friendly buttons on the exterior of the goggle. Zeal promises that skiing or riding with a virtual dashboard as a buddy won't be distracting, causing epic wipeouts that your buddies film to post on YouTube.
The goggles include a USB port, too, so after they help you find your way back to the lodge, you can upload your day's adventures to your Windows PC or Mac. Thanks to the included Recon HQ software and support for Google Maps, your stats and goggle-wearing travels can be mapped to Google and shared with others. The goggles weigh 257 grams including a rechargeable lithium batter that Zeal says will last about seven hours.
Word is, Zeal is going to make an API available so application developers can do more stuff with these ultra-cool goggles.
There are two models, each sporting a different option for Zeals' top of the line lenses. The S$499 PPX uses a polarized, photochromatic (aka transitioning lens). It changes from dark rose for bright sun to light yellow for those flat light cloudy days on the hill. The $399 SPX is a standard polarized lens.