The next generation of wearable technology is officially here. Recon Instruments, an Intel company, has created Recon Jet – performance eyewear with a built-in display designed specifically for fitness enthusiasts. Activated with a simple glance down, Jet is designed to never distract its users or compromise their line of sight. It’s unobtrusive and like most wearable tech, it solves a major problem: smartphone distractions while running or biking.
With its patented Glance Detection Technology, Jet wakes up instantly when you glance down, then turns off again when you look away, minimizing distractions and maximizing power efficiency. According to Co-founder Dan Eisenhardt, Jet makes you safer during the times when you’re on the road and get a text message. “You get the information you need without the safety tradeoff,” Eisenhardt said. “Kind of like the speedometer in your car but built better and it never competes for your attention.”
Jet’s display is equivalent to a 30-degree screen viewed from 7 feet (2m) away. Even though Jet comes with all the tech bells and whistles (Intelligent display, point-of-view camera, GPS and an optical touch pad), it’s still high-performance eyewear. From its highly adjustable ear stems and nosepieces to its four interchangeable lens options, the Recon Jet provides full UVA and UVB protection. Keeping the athlete in mind, Jet’s polarized lenses have been impact-tested.
One of Jet’s coolest features is its point-of-view camera. With a simple double-tap to the side of the engine, users are able to take HD-quality photos and video mid-action. Doubling as a viewfinder, you’ll be able to time the perfect shot of your colleagues finishing their corporate 5k challenge.
Interested in staying in touch during morning runs, the Recon Jet pairs with your smartphone to get caller ID, SMS notifications, and provides access to social media. Making the process of checking your latest messages seamless, Jet comes with an optical touchpad and two-button rocker so whether it’s raining or you’re wearing gloves during a winter bike ride, you can easily swipe and click. As you can problem tell, there’s a common theme with all of Jet’s features: they’re all designed to keep the athlete on target without any distractions. No more reaching for your cell in a backpack or checking a smartwatch, everything stays right in front of you to ensure line of sight is never compromised.
Seems perfect, right? Shades that are connected, prevent distractions and provide UV ray protection. So what’s stopping you from clicking the “place order” button? The problem is this: whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just an occasional runner, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing these super-techie-over-the-top-futuristic-glasses.” Eisenhardt challenges this vanity-obsessed way of thinking in his Toronto Ted Talk. Referencing the number of cyclist deaths per year and the hundreds of thousands of Americans currently using their cell phones while driving, “people put a lot on the line when they put personal appearance first,” Eisenhardt said. “Most of us check our phones 100x’s a day, each time we lose touch with the physical world around us. We don’t see what’s going on around us. Vanity has a price.” Making a case that Recon Jet will be the future of wearable technology, he compared the Jet to the evolution of wristwatches. “100 years ago wrist watches were women’s only jewelry and men were called sissies for wearing them.”
In closing, the Recon Jet seamlessly falls into the category of breakthrough technology. With its Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS capabilities, and compatibility with iOS and Android smartphones, this is one remarkable wearable. The possibilities are endless, especially considering that Jet’s operating system is open to developers. There’s already a good six fitness apps in the pipeline because of its open operating system. Whether it’s their newest app creation called Laps (see performance for every mile) or connecting to Google Fit, the future is bright for Recon’s Jet. Eisenhardt believes the only thing stopping them is vanity.