Recon Instruments brings action camera viewing into your goggles
By C.C. Weiss
January 27, 2012
Skiers and snowboarders of the future are going to be pretty close to cyborgs. Over the years, we've seen such wearable electronics as heated clothing, cell phone-compatible ski gloves and camera-equipped goggles. We've also seen the Recon Instruments goggles, which use a small heads-up display so that you can view your speed, vertical and other ego-inflating (or deflating) stats.
Skiers that wear any combination of those things are already skating close to the man-machine fulcrum, and now we have a new upcoming technology that combines two existing ski electronics into one seamless system - machine is starting to take over. Recon Instruments and Contour announced a partnership that will turn Recon's goggle-mounted display into a viewfinder for Contour action cams.
The companies must have used up all their time on tech, because the name they came up with is downright clunky. Contour Camera Connectivity App for MOD Live, as the kids are calling it, is an app for the Recon Instruments Mod Live device, which launched earlier this winter. After downloading the free app, Contour + and ContourGPS cameras will sync with the MOD Live device via Bluetooth and turn it into a viewfinder. Skiers will be able to line up shots without ever removing their goggles. They'll also be able to view battery life and remaining storage space and control camera settings in real time.
Future self-made action film stars beware, though: your footage will only be as good as your skiing, and if you're paying more attention to your in-goggle display than the ground ahead of you, it won't be pretty. Aim Fuel TV, not Fail Blog.
Of course, the Recon + Contour technology won't come cheap, particularly if you don't own any of the necessary devices. MOD Live is the more expensive of Recon's two add-on systems. It retails for US$399.99 - and that's just for the device, you'll have to purchase "Recon Ready" goggles to attach it to. Goggles are available from an increasing number of mainstream manufacturers that currently includes Uvex and Briko. Recon recently announced that it will add Scott and Smith next season.
After spending $550 or so on Recon-equipped goggles, you'll still need the camera. And, guess what - the Contour + and ContourGPS are two of Contour's most expensive models. The ContourGPS is the bargain of the two at $300. The Contour + will run you $500. Not only will you look like a cyborg, you'll cost nearly as much as developing one.
At least the app is free. It will be available in the "coming weeks" from HQOnline.reconinstruments.com.
IPhone users will soon join Android users in enjoying MOD Live compatibility. Recon plans to make Mod Live compatible with the iPhone 4S by next ski season.