Hands on with Recon GPS snow goggles

When it comes to snowboarding, I'm no Shaun White. And that's official. On a trip to Whistler, British Columbia, last week, I tried out a prototype pa

When it comes to snowboarding, I'm no Shaun White. And that's official. On a trip to Whistler, British Columbia, last week, I tried out a prototype pair of GPS goggles that recorded my every slip, fall and double cork attempt.

The Transcend goggles from Recon Instruments come with a built-in GPS receiver and tiny LCD heads-up display that shows real-time speed, altitude and temperature data - and will soon add 'jump time' for you gnarly dudes who can actually catch some sick air.

The goggles are made by Zeal (a big name in snow sports optics in America) and look just a touch larger than normal eyewear. Glove-friendly buttons on the side power it up and cycle through options in the micro-display.

The heads-up display is incredibly easy to use: just flick your eyes down to the small 320x240 screen, which is magnified and focused to appear as though it's hanging in space a few metres in front of you. Unlike GPS watches or armbands, it's not at all distracting and keeps your attention locked on the slope ahead.

Recon promises a battery life of six hours, then you can download data and recharge with its micro-USB connection. All your runs are plotted on Google Maps to cement your bragging rights (or snowboarding shame).

The Transcend goggles will launch this summer for $350, or $450 with photochromic lenses, in plenty of time for your 2014 Winter Olympics half-pipe bid.

In the future, Recon says it will offer a Bluetooth model that will display text messages, piste maps and even lift waiting times. The Canadian company also reckons it's just two years from squeezing all the technology (even the battery) into a pair of normal sunglasses.

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