Hands-on: Oakley's new ski goggles have a built-in computer screen

Oakley's Recon glasses have a built-in computer screen (Image: Oakley)

A new pair of ski goggles has a computer screen built in - allowing users to see a speedometer, sat-nav and even text messages.

But while Oakley's £499 Recon glasses might sound like a recipe for disaster, the 'Heads Up Display' allows skiers to see clearly - you have to look down with one eye to see the tiny screen.

The tiny LED screen is equivalent to seeing a 5-inch screen at a distance of around a foot, its makers claim.

The glasses pair with iPhones and Android phones to show caller ID and text messages on screen, and to allow skiers to switch track.

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They are controlled by a glove-friendly wristband, which allows skiers to navigate through menus.

Developers are currently working on 'apps' for the glasses.

"The HUD doesn't relay emails yet," Oakley says.

"That may be a possibility in the future with the software development kit Recon has launched, but isn't a current feature. Also, there is no earpiece in the goggles.

"You can see the SMS and caller ID come up on the screen, answer using the wireless remote but, to hear the call, you need earphones connected direct to your smartphone (we don't want too many things sticking out the goggles. Aesthetics and not looking too 'techy' are really important to us).

"The HUD also works standalone, you only need to be connected to your phone to see caller ID, SMS, music playlist and utilise buddy tracking. All the chips and sensors to make use of the other functions are actually inside the HUD in the goggle."


The glasses sound like a horribly dangerous idea - but the discreet screen is actually very convenient to use.

Like Google's upcoming Google glasses, this is mean to put computing power nearer to you - not obscure your vision.

Controlling the glasses via a big four-way navigation system is simple, and the speedometer lets you compare current speed against top speed.

These aren't an entirely new product - Recon has been making similar HUD goggles for a couple of years - but the new model is far smoother.

Control is easy, the display looks great, and, courtesy of Oakley, it's all very stylish too.