New in the sports wearables market is GogglePal, a heads-up display for snowboarders and skiers that places real-time fitness stats, navigational cues, and games unobtrusively in the user’s ski go…
You may recall that I wrote recently that Google Glasses were on hold, but that this wasn’t the end of the technology concept, rather the opposite and we were going to see Augmented Reality glasses in sports like skiing, multisport, marathons and golf.
This so makes me want to go skiing again. GogglePal looks awesome on the video. It’s only short and I recommend you watch it. Please note this blog is unsolicited and only here because I love this technology.
So first of all, you don’t have to buy a set of expensive goggles, prices range from $99 – $299 and you can continue to use your favorite brand, in fact a smart goggles brand IMHO should be co-marketing, rather than try to get into a manufacturing competition nearer to the failed price point of $1499 that Google wanted for their glasses.
So here’s what’s really cool. You get all sorts of stats on your ‘heads-up display’ speed, elevation and more.When I was skiing regularly, my mates were very competitive and I can see this becoming a must have for the regular skier.
As soon as smart ski-fields get their runs onto the maps, you will be able to see the track ahead, which is awesome, especially in snowing or semi white out conditions, and when trails cross each other.
The buddy finder is awesome. How many times have you lost your friends and ended up skiing alone (I mean when you didn’t lose them deliberately:) You can find them when you are racing down the slopes or just cruising, or perhaps heading for a hot chocolate.
I haven’t seen them, but I suspect for $299 you don’t get text to speech, so if you want to say “I’m at the bottom of the staircase lift” you would probably have to take your gloves off, fish out your mobile and try to type on your phone with your damp cold fingers. Tapping your Google Glasses and dictating a message to your phone is the sort of thing you pay a premium for. I’m sure that will also come to cheaper models.
The games will be a hugely popular feature for millennial and I could see it being a huge hit for skateboarders and will spawn lots more game ideas. Again smart ski-field operators will be looking to create games that help traffic management on the piste, by encouraging people to try all their slopes or take people from the busiest ones, and promote their services.
In fact a smart ski-field would rent these out and could do some amazing things with this technology. They could run passport competitions where you have to try each slope within your skill range, daily competitions for the most runs, the fastest runs, the most stem Christies, the longest vertical of the day and much more with LED signs and people’s names in lights as milestones are reached. This could revolutionize competitive, casual and sport skiing and encourage a whole new generation onto the slopes.
IMHO, this is not just a new gadget you put on your goggles, it could reinvigorate an industry that continues to grow in popularity. The hard thing will be getting people to leave at night so they can groom again for the next day.