We recently told you about a new Google Glass rival from Sony, named SmartEyeglass. Sony’s smart glasses are based on a concept unveiled this year on February 24th at CES 2014; with its new smart glasses, Sony aims to bring notifications directly to the user’s eye. According to the Japanese corporation, “With the wired, hand-held controller you can navigate in the user interface and control the camera that’s integrated in the SmartEyeglass prototype. With a binocular see-through eyewear display, the SmartEyeglass prototype presents information at a distance from your eyes, which gives a comfortable viewing experience.” Sony aims to release its SmartEyeglass to the general public by March next year.
However, in the past, we also covered another Google Glass rival named Recon Jet, which was unveiled by Recon Instruments last year, just a day before the 2013 edition of the Google I/O conference. The Recon Jet is aimed at sports and other outdoor activities such as mountain hiking, cycling and even extreme sports, and since last month, the Recon Jet is available to pre order. The Recon Jet display real time information regarding the aforementioned outdoor activities and it can even be used as a fitness tracker, since it tells the wearer its hear rate, the speed and distance walked and other similar parameters. The Recon Jet is the perfect heads up display for athletes and people that like to practice outdoor activities such as running or cycling.
Even though the Recon Jet is available to pre order right now, the earliest you can expect to get the smart glasses from Recon Instruments is late January 2015. According to Recon Instruments, “the late January to March time window for pre-order shipment is on track“. Until next year however, the company is hard at work to iron out bugs, add new features and improve the device. on Recon Instruments’ website (posted at the beginning of this month) offers an update on the company’s recent technical advancements regarding the Recon Jet device. In this article we will talk about these technical advancements, some of which are very interesting.
The first improvement mentioned in Recon Instruments’ recent blog post is extended ANT+ capability. For those of you that don’t know what ANT+ is, it is an interoperability function that can be added to the base ANT protocol, encouraging interoperability and open-access to data between manufacturers of “smartphones, bike computers, diagnostics, power meters, heart rate monitors, remote control systems, etc.” In August this year, Recon Instruments successfully verified ANT+ connectivity between Jet and 3rd party heart rate sensors. This was an important step in adding ANT+ capability for cadence and speed sensors; power meters will be supported in the next update it seems, and then the Recon jet will be the perfect device for cycling and running.
Next, the blog post mentions GPS optimization. Recon Instruments partnered with RX Networks in order to implement assisted GPS into the Recon Jet device. According to Recon Instruments, “This upgrade facilitates much faster GPS time to first fix (TTFF) when Jet is fired up and assures more accurate positioning vs. unassisted GPS.” The results are excellent, as showed by testing the GPS optimization by Recon Instruments staff, “with further refinement potential still possible prior to Jet shipment.” Last but not least, the blog also mentions an enhancment to the user experience, in the form of alert sounds. You will be notified via alert sounds whenever you receive a text message or a call or when you achieve a personal best performance on a ride. This will allow users to focus on their activity, instead of focusing on Recon Jet’s display.
All of these enhancements and upgrades are meant to make the Recon Jet the perfect device for athletes and outdoor activities such as cycling, running or mountain hiking. ANT+ sensor connectivity (which as mentioned above, now includes support not only for heart monitors, but also cadence and speed sensors and in the future it will also include support for power meters) will make the Recon Jet the perfect device for cycling, while GPS optimization will make sure that you will always know exactly where you are and how much distance you have covered. Alert sounds are meant not just as a bonus, but also as a way to make sure you will only have to focus on your activity, not on the device’s display. All in all these are pretty nice upgrades and you can expect even more in the coming months. We will keep you up to date, but until the next set of updates from Recon Instruments, use the dedicated section below to tell us what you think about the upcoming Recon Jet device.