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Recon Instruments: Jet Smart Glasses

TECH

Recon Instruments: Jet Smart Glasses

The long-awaited sports-specific heads-up display comes equipped with a camera, GPS and seamless connectivity

by Hans Aschim
on 16 April 2015
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Wearable technology presents no shortage of possibilities, applications, innovations and, of course, challenges. Though Google has put Glass on hold (for now), other more specialized tech-enabled eyewear concepts are becoming very real consumer products. We've been following the development of the Jet from Vancouver-based Recon Instruments for years. It began as an idea in 2008 and today, 16 April 2015, the Recon Jet is available for purchase. Packed with connectivity features, performance metrics, a highly functional user interface and a modular design for changing lenses and swapping batteries, the Recon Jet is simultaneously the most advanced sports wearable and one of the easiest to use.

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Designed with running and cycling in mind, the Jet's chief goal is to deliver as much relevant information to the user without being distracting. Coupled with a dual-core processor, the Jet is equipped with multiple sensors as well as a GPS unit that delivers key data including speed, pace, distance and duration. The Jet also measures elevation gain for those logging steep hills. An adjustable projection ensures each user has the optimal display positioning for each activity. Most useful though, the team at Jet has built room for communication with additional censors such as a heart-rate monitor or bike computer. The Jet then acts as a sort of visualization hub for all the data one might measure during a training session.

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Performance metrics are just one aspect of the Jet experience. An integrated point-of-view camera shoots photos and video with a single tap. Spot a bear crossing on your morning ride? Photograph it and share via social media in seconds. The Jet connects to your smartphone to allow for easy sharing, quick texting and email. A map display is especially useful when exploring new territory. You'll even get notifications when other friends are using Jet nearby so you can easily link up for a ride or run.

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In terms of the design process, Recon believes smart glasses should only be built with a specific purpose and user in mind—in this case, endurance athletes. Distraction, clunky menus and lagging response time are not an option when you're pushing 50 MPH on a hill decent, so focused and functional minimalism was the key goal for Recon. "To achieve harmony between mindfulness and wearable technology (WT), the WT must be incredibly intuitive and the information it generates must be so easily accessed as to become a seamless component of the athlete's experience," says Tom Fowler, Chief Marketing Officer. "When that level of integration is achieved, WT will actually contribute to mindfulness rather than be in conflict with it."

Shipping today, 16 April 2015, the Recon Jet is available for $699. Thanks to Recon's open platform, developers can create new applications for the Jet with aviation and sailing already in the works.

Images courtesy of Recon Instruments

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