Testing the Recon Heads up Display Goggles

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Current speed (zero, since I’m standing), fastest speed (48), time (16:09-gotta catch that bus!), bluetooth (how did I even know that?) battery (probably drains quickly, yikes!)

I didn’t realize how lucky I was in my first season but I did recognize that it was awesome. One of the awesome things I got to be a part of was test some branded goggles with Recon’s Heads up display technology. No idea what they were actually called, but I give them a thumbs up for fitting over my glasses (after losing my $5 pair, I haven’t been able to find another pair that fits without fogging up, and I wear frameless glasses) Plus, I now realize I was entrusted with $500+ of gear on my face, simply by partaking in a study that I definitely flubbed.

My modus operandi over 4 separate Sundays was to fill out a survey before and after snowboarding, giving estimates of my speed and other metrics. (Since I didn’t have a working smartphone at the time, I wonder what good my data did. Also, I wouldn’t have gotten over a foot of air, so I wasn’t able to use that feature, either. Also, I was just really against technology.) The study-survey was being funded by a very good looking dude who had a girlfriend or wife who was pursuing a PhD or masters in outdoor recreation. In hindsight, I was given a really cool tool that would have been really interesting to test the boundaries with.

The only feature that I could and did use was speed. It was extremely distracting at first. Well, the first thing I thought was “Shoot, wearing glasses means I don’t have peripheral vision, and the screen is floating at the bottom of the corner of my right eye. I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out the screen didn’t project in the goggles’ lens but rather sat in peripheral vision on one side of the lens (the eye, it turns out, is particularly good at glancing up and down quickly to read the information on the little screen.) It could also be connected to one’s smart phone and give alerts when you got a text message or call. It was distracting at first though-I definitely felt a learning curve as I was distracted by the accelerating numbers as I rode. It was a real time speedometer.

It was March and the snow was no longer icy. The whole season had been warmer and drier than usual, but it was still fun to race against the speedometer. At the end of the day it displays the users’ fastest time, which was 48 kph the day I took the photo. I remember that was fast, but I also knew that I had been faster. There was no icy snow to be seen those days.

It would be fun to have a speedometer without having to pay $500, which you can probably get as an app on your phone. Having recently received a better smartphone as a castoff from one of my friends, I could probably do that now. It would be pretty fun, seeing as I love speed, and 48 kph isn’t that fast.

I still remember being puzzled as I tried to answer the survey the first time, pre-goggles. I answered Max Speed 20-30 km, and for elevation, probably 500 m. Then, after I used the goggles, I still had no idea how to find that metric, so I wrote something along those lines or pure guessed. Sorry.

If a technophobe like me can like this thing, so can you. I remember feeling like I’d betrayed myself by participating in the study, seeing as I snowboarded to escape technology. I wouldn’t get too cushy, as I still go outdoors to escape tech, but it definitely would be useful.

Because it’s so big, it also keeps your face warm and you have a wide range of view. I suppose I can see why people pay more for better goggles; it’s just so much more comfortable. Usually I go goggle-less, because mine are so uncomfortable. I still can’t believe this was the same season I wore non-waterproof jacket, gloves, and pants that were too small and ripped while I was standing in the lift line. Snowboarding was so pure. No wonder why I never wrote an entry about these goggles until now.

I still think I totally flubbed that study but I’m glad no one thought the better of me being entrusted to $500 worth of tech…

Don’t let anything get in the way of your enjoyment of riding or whatever your passion is. You don’t need the best gear to get out, just an open mind.

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