The Recon Jet is Google Glass for sports like running and cycling. It’s highly functional and works well, but still suffers from the Glasshole effect. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
You rarely see Google Glass anymore, but if Recon Instruments has its way, you’ll be seeing plenty more head-mounted displays in the future.
The Recon Jet, launched Thursday, is a pair of smart eyeglasses for sporty activities like running and biking. Bristling with sensors, the device shows all kinds of biometric data and social stats on its tiny heads-up display. Paired with a smartphone, it can take pictures and video, send and receive status updates, find friends and family on the piste and much more.
But sports is just a start. If Recon is successful — and that’s a big if — we may be seeing smart glasses in a lot more places. Recon is betting hard that the face is the place for smart wearables.
Ever tried using an iPhone or Android phone to navigate with GPS through crowded streets? It’s pretty difficult, even for a veteran cyclist like me, to split my focus between the road and tiny symbols on the phone’s tiny screen.
Plugging in to a headset to hear turn-by-turn directions sometimes works, but cycling with headphones can also be a pain (not to mention illegal in places under certain conditions).
The answer, of course, is a heads-up display like Google Glass; but until it’s ready, there’s the Hammerhead, a light-powered navigation aid with some other cool tricks up its sleeve.