Recon Jet: Google Glass-like 'smart' sunglasses for athletes

Recon Instruments introduced its sportier and cheaper version of Google Glass. Meet the Recon Jet.

Recon Insturments
Recon Instruments began pre-ordering their Jet sunglasses, a sportier version of the Google Glass.

Google Glass has some hefty competition with the introduction of the Recon Jet sunglasses – a sportier and cheaper version of Google’s sometimes-controversial specs.

During a forest fire, in the middle of a long marathon, or even during surgery (with scalpel in hand), you can wear Recon Jet sunglasses to keep track of what is in front of you – at least according to the company’s latest commercial.

Recon’s tech-savvy version of the Rec Specs, lets wearers have the luxury of staying connected to the outside world. The company has targeted athletes by building in software that allows the glasses’ owner to access data such as speed, pace, distance, time, and vertical assent. 

The 0.03-pound glasses include a 1 GHz dual-core processor (for loose comparison, the iPhone 5 has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor) and the capability to connect to a third-party wireless devices through Bluetooth.

The glasses’ built-in HD camera gives users the freedom to upload a picture to Facebook of a bike tour, live tweet the progress of a forest fire, or check the score of a basketball game in the middle of a marathon. It’s like having the luxuries of a smart phone squeezed into a pair of glasses, complete with the color screen.

Jet sunglasses use the Android operating system, and Recon is taking the open-software route for developing apps.

Battery life ranges from four to six hours.

Take all of this with a grain of salt, though. Reviewers have not gotten their hands on a pair of Recon Jets, so we have only the company's promises. They might pan out, or this product might disappear before the expected December release date. 

Critics of Google Glass -- and of smart sunglasses in general -- have voiced concern that the device, which could include facial recognition and eye-tracking technology, are a huge invasion of privacy.

Before either Google Glass or Recon Jet were on the market, in October 2012, the sunglass company Oakley introduced Airwave smart ski goggles.

Recon is taking pre-orders for their Jet sunglasses through July 21 at a reduced rate of $499, with a promised delivery date of December 2013. After July 21, the glasses price goes up to $599.

In contrast, a pair of Google’s glasses is going for $1,500.  

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