Oakley Airwave: Review of GPS Goggles

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Oakley is good at taking innovative sports technology and materials to make high end eyewear and sunglasses. Now even very high tech material sunglasses are a fairly low tech item. They don’t play music, they don’t have GPS or Bluetooth, just sunglasses though very high quality ones. The Airwave skiing goggles change all that for Oakley.

It never fails that when you go away on your group ski holiday with all your friends and family there is that one person who has the entire selection of latest tech. These featured Oakley’s are the goggles you will be drooling after with their usual high tech materials and unique design, however there is one major addition, an advanced heads-up-display, or HUD. Though the HUD is actually a very small display it appears easily readable by the wearer without obstruction of the user’s vision. The design and advanced prism technology makes the HUD look as if it was a 14 inch screen at 5 feet away.

Also See: Oakley targets Google Glass, Vuzix M100

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The goggles can run either iOS or Android operating systems and by Bluetooth connection can display text messages and incoming calls while you swoosh down the side of a mountain! That is not all though by connecting to your smartphone the goggle also can show GPS and navigation, use heart rate apps, and select and play music from the phone’s player. “I don’t have a smart phone though so these goggles don’t do anything extra for me.” You might say, but even without the Bluetooth connection, these goggles have an accelerometer, barometer and gyro sensors which allow for real time analytics about your jumps and display speed, height, distance, and air time. This is a lot of things for a pair of goggles to do besides just cutting down glare.

HUDs are common in game, advanced vehicle and military designs. There is a movement toward using HUDs in more commercial and civilian things and this is a large step toward it. Products like the Airwave could lead to something called AR or augmented reality, where statistics and information is on small similar HUD displays is common place. As we move forward it is innovations and technologies like these goggles that herald the way for other fantastic applications to become common place.

These goggles are expensive though with a price point to match the high technology used to make them, at around $600. The price and abilities of these goggles is comparable to Google’s attempt at HUD/AR technology Google Glasses. You wouldn’t think Oakley would be a competitor with a tech company like Google but if they can bring the Airwave style HUD to everyday sunglasses they may just be the next big tech company.

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These are truly unique and interesting set of goggles that are really set apart from anything else out there currently. The technology is still new and so the price is a little high right now but if you want to get in the ground floor of these new tech trends, or an avid skier/snowboarder looking for info to up your jumps and runs you can’t beat the Airwave goggles by Oakley. Take a look at the video below.

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  • DRF100

    Wow would rather have these than the those Google Glass things. Just as good and half the price by the looks of things. Coupled with a GO Pro you’d have it all!