Recon Instruments first came to our attention back in 2010 with the release of the world's first heads up display (HUD) for skiers and snowboarders. The company has now outed the fourth generation of the device, the Snow2, which adds extra processing grunt and puts the focus on connectivity.

“Snow2 isn’t just a tweak on our last version, it’s a ground-up revise that provides more processing power, longer battery life, dedicated graphics processing, an enhanced user interface and connectivity with users’ social networks,” says Recon’s CEO Dan Eisenhardt.

Recon says the unit's 1 GHz dual-core processor results in three times the processing power of its predecessor and its 1200 mAh battery delivers a 35 percent increase in running time.

An array of onboard sensors including a built-in GPS provide data on speed, vertical descent, jump airtime, altitude and navigation, so users will know which direction they are headed and how to get their hands on the nearest mug of hot chocolate. All of this is swerved up on a display that appears to the user as a virtual 14-inch image at 5ft away.

Connectivity-wise, the Snow2 can be paired with iOS or Android devices, allowing users to receive texts and phone calls, control their music, and enabling real time buddy-tracking so they’ll know just how wrong that last turn they took really was.

All of this functionality is controlled through a wrist-worn, Bluetooth Low Energy remote with a waterproof housing and large glove-friendly buttons. Recon says that some 3rd party peripheral controllers will also work on the Snow2 platform (which is the same as the company's Recon Jet sunglasses) and the HUD can also be hooked up to action cameras and heart rate monitors.

Recon is also aiming to foster an online community around its new device with the launch of its Engage website and mobile applications. Users can download all the data collected by their HUD throughout a day on the slopes, review stats such as top speeds and ground covered before sharing them via social networks.

Snow2 comes pre-installed on goggles from leading brands such as Oakley, Smith and Scott, but can also be purchased separately and fitted onto "Recon-ready" frames.

The standalone Snow2 unit costs US$399.

Snow 2 HUD key specs:

  • Onboard sensors: 9-Axis sensors, 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer, Pressure sensor, Altimeter & barometer application
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • On-board memory: 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, 2GB flash
  • Display: Wide screen 16:9 WQVGA ultra-compact display at 428×240
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart), Apple MFi Bluetooth support
  • Micro USB for charging and data transfer
  • Weight: 65Grams (2.3oz) approx.
  • Battery: 1200 mAh = 6 Hours+ Per Charge
  • Product page: Recon Snow2