But does this latest effort to incorporate display metrics into a sunglass succeed or miss the mark? We got our hands on a pair and put them through their paces.
Basic Features1 of 9
Tired of looking down at your cycling computer or watch to gauge your numbers? Using a display located below the right eye, the Recon Jet projects performance metrics such as power (watts), speed, distance, ascent/descent, heart rate and cadence.
The Good: Maintaining Head Position2 of 9
Not having to look down at wattage and heart rate numbers, especially in the time trial position, is very helpful. Maintaining head position will definitely improve your aerodynamics in a long race, and being able to constantly keep track of your metrics helps you stay on pace much easier than you would if you were constantly looking down at your computer.
The Good: The Camera3 of 9
The Recon Jet eyewear gives you the ability to shoot still pictures and video at 720p. These are excellent features, though video recording is limited to about 15 seconds.
Still, the ability to shoot directly from your sunglasses makes capturing unique photos and short videos pretty easy. And you'll get a first person point of view that isn't nearly as awkward as wearing an action cam on your helmet.
The Good: Highly Adjustable4 of 9
The display attachment can be adjusted to dial in your position, and it's important you get this in the right spot so you can see the projection easily.
Once you set up the device with the included software, you'll also be able to manage multiple screens and map functions. You can switch these while you're riding by using the swipe function on the side of the attachment.
The Bad: Weight and Looks5 of 9
The glasses look and feel awkward, and the aesthetics will be an immediate turn off for some. They also feel heavy, and when leaning forward or looking down, they can slide slightly on the bridge of the nose.
The Bad: Battery Life6 of 9
The four-hour battery life was also a negative for us, though you can switch out the battery fairly easily if you plan to go on a long training ride. During a long-distance race (like an IRONMAN), this may be more of an issue.
The Bad: Limited Vision7 of 9
The biggest complaint with the Recon Jet is the limited peripheral vision due to the size of the attachment. Though you'll get used to this the more you wear them, it's a bit of a safety concern.
There's a lot happening on the road, and reaction time can make a big difference. A slimmed down version that allows for better peripheral vision and takes up less lens space would be preferable.
The quality of the actual lens is pretty good, but we wouldn't say they're as nice as wearing a pair of Oakley Jawbreakers or Rudy Project Tralyx sunglasses. You're paying for the tech here--not necessarily the highest quality of lens clarity.
The Verdict8 of 9
As a triathlete or cyclist, it's important to feel light and fast on the bike. The weight of the Recon Jet, especially at its position on the bottom of the lens, will make you feel weighted down and heavy--which isn't good for racing.
As a training tool, there are some good uses for the Recon Jet, and we especially liked the map functions and the automatic upload capability to MapMyRide and Strava.
Overall, the sunglasses feel like a technology that's going to see big improvements in the near future. As for now, you'll probably only be tempted to purchase these if you're a tech junkie or if you're looking for a lot of help with pacing your efforts during training.
As for the price, it's pretty reasonable considering Google Glass costs a cool $1,500.