Oakley has just rolled out what might be the goggles to rule all goggles. The technology-packed AirWave snow goggles have GPS, jump analytics, caller-id, text messaging, Bluetooth, and music controls, all available from a heads-up display.
The first feature of these goggles is the heads-up display. Without this display, none of the other features would be possible. The screen stays out of the way while you are tearing up the slopes, and when it's time to take a look at your stats, simply focus your eye on the miniature prism lens and it will show you everything you need to know. The screen will look like a 35.5-cm (13.97-inch) screen from 1.5 meters (1.64 yards) away.
The screen is able to use the GPS to show you all the imperative information. It can show jump analytics with key data such as how high you jumped, how far, and how much airtime you achieved. It also comes preloaded with maps of many popular ski resorts to find your location and track other members of your party using the goggles or Oakley's app. The AirWave goggles can also sense temperature, altitude, velocity and vertical descent data.
With the Bluetooth connectivity and an iPhone, you can do some pretty crazy things with the app. You can view incoming calls and text messages without ever taking your phone out of your pocket, for instance. You can also view and control music playlists from the goggles.
Most of the functions are controlled through the wireless, glove-friendly remote that you wear around your wrist. This should allow users to control the functions displayed without stopping the momentum for long.
All that technology is awesome, but a good pair of goggles still needs to be, well, a good pair of goggles. Fortunately, these appear to have the features skiers and snowboarders look for. You can change lenses quickly, using what Oakley calls Switchlock Technology. The AirWaves also have anti-fog technology and vents to help keep the lenses clear. Additionally, the goggles are designed to offer as much peripheral vision as possible.
The Zeal GPS may have been the first GPS-enabled goggle with head-mounted display to hit the market, but Oakley is not one to be left behind. I must admit, however, it took longer than I expected for this pair to come along.
Oakley's new heads up display goggles will be available from Oakley, SunglassHut, and at other retailers and ski resorts around the world starting on October 31. The company has not announced a final price yet.