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Recon Instruments brings action camera viewing into your goggles

By

January 27, 2012

The Contour app is the latest Recon Instruments function

The Contour app is the latest Recon Instruments function

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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.

Recon's display sits just below eye level

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.

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
4 Comments

Wow, I'd buy this straight away, even though I don't ski...... (would be great for kite buggying!) but there is no left hand version for those of us with limited sight in our right eye. Same happened with the other Recon goggles. I suppose I am in a minority, so I'm not too bitter.

(Just checked FAQs on their website- the left eye question has been asked, but they say at the moment there are no plans to develop that option).

Grahamw
28th January, 2012 @ 04:23 am PST

Its a good idea so you can see what is being recorded, if the lenses is covered, if its even turned on. That said, When I first read it I thought.. um you're using a camera and a display to see what is right in front of you.. lol..

I could also see a tactical use for these, IE swat teams and Night vision and FLIR. or having a camera on the gun to see around corners. I know the military is developing complex systems to do this. But a consumer level device might be more realistic to limited budgets..

Michael Mantion
28th January, 2012 @ 03:49 pm PST

If this uses the same bluetooth connection as Contour uses already for phone connectivity, video from the camera will only be transmitted at low (3?) fps while recording is paused. Once recording is started, the BT video connection is turned off completely. Great for lining up shots, but while on the move there is still no feedback on what you're aiming at.

I really prefer the Contour cameras over other 'helmet cams', but wish they would be more upfront on that limitation.

microbert
29th January, 2012 @ 09:24 pm PST

You’re already doing a great job with the website and the blog. I love the content here and I’m always glad to come back and read some toughts on photography – be it gear, shooting or something else, loved the recent video for Samsung. I love that it isn’t a gear review site. I’d suggest you keep doing what you are and adding some odd piece of gear you found interesting and think people don’t know enough about or don’t use it enough or in the right way.

If someone wants a review there are already sites that do them and are doing only that. This site isn’t that and it should never be.It’s not like it’s hard to find a review today for anything.

Shojib Ashrafi Na Ashrafi
8th June, 2013 @ 02:52 am PDT
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