Recon and Partners Show off Heads Up Display Technology at TELUS

If you are lucky enough to be at the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2012 being held this weekend in Whistler, B.C. you can get a first look at goggles that do now most of what Google is seeking to do with its Project Glass effort, courtesy of Recon Instruments.

We have written about Recon before, and even mentioned them yesterday in a piece on Oakley creating projection glasses, and the company appears to have a lap on the competition in the area of developing sports glasses that have display and interconnect capabilities.

Now the company is giving a sneak preview of some unreleased products that will not be available to the general public until next ski season, but if you have the chance we recommend taking a look, either at the festival if you are one of the lucky few, or at a local ski shop for current versions of the technology.

The reason for the enthusiasm is that it increasingly appears that this type of technology may be heading towards the mainstream, and as often is the case, it is niche markets that will lead the way. Do you want to find out if glasses that provide a range of features from music to navigation will affect your concentration? Well here is your chance to find out. It is one thing to have a connected item such as a watch but another world when the item is glasses, or in this case goggles.

Back to Recon; they will be showing the unreleased Recon ready Scott NAV-R 2 Goggle that is designed to fit the Recon GPS Micro Optics Display, the MOD and MOD Live. The MOD products incorporate Recon’s Heads Up Display (HUD) technology. MOD Live can provide a variety of sets of feedback data such as jump analytics and speed as well as connect to a smartphone for calls and music playlists.

So head on over and take a gander, or you can always wander over to the company’s site and examine the technology there instead, you could be ahead of the wave of the future.

Friday Grab Bag: The Olympics are 98 Days Away!

Next week in pro football news, the ever popular draft is coming. One interesting thing about the NFL regular season schedule being released this week is that Las Vegas already has lines on the games! Not sure if it is time yet to lay a dime on Green Bay giving the points however.

Intel delivers high capacity solid state drives for consumers
Intel has delivered the Solid-State Drive 330 Series, a lineup that is directly targeted at the consumer market. Now being a consumer you might wonder why you would want one of these drives and the answer is easy. They have the capacity to store your growing digital music/video/images collection that might not fit on your smartphone or tablet, or even computer.

The drives will be available in the 60GB, 120GB and 180GB capacities and is a SATA 6Gb/s-based SSD. The difference between a SSD and what is probably in your computer is that a traditional hard disk drive has rotating material and so is much more prone to damage from dropping or other accidents. A SSD is what is in your smartphone, or at least the underlying technology is.

Exercise cycle delivers feedback wirelessly
Ever ridden an exercise bike and found that the data that it provided was worthless, or like at my gym, the data technology always seems to be broken? Well a company called Body Bike wants to fix all that with a wireless solution that can provide feedback using Ant + wireless technology developed by Ant Wireless.

The Body Bike Connect uses the wireless technology to send a wide range of information including VO2 max, calories, distance, and average, percentage and maximum values to an Ant enabled console. It also can be used to handle personalized settings.

Foursquare tops 20 million users
Now I have to admit I am not a Foursquare user. I don’t care that you are buying a cup of coffee or getting your haircut. Why do you think that is interesting to anybody but stalkers and home thieves? Well enough of the rant, as I see that the location-based check-in service startup has 20 million users, up from 15 million in December.

Google’s Motorola plans driving partners to rivals?
There is growing speculation that part of Google’s plans for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility is to emulate what Apple is currently doing, becoming a vertically integrated developer. What that means is that it would develop the hardware, the operating system and possibly even the chip, for future Android devices. Currently it helps partners design products that are sold as Nexus systems.

This would make it very tough for partners to compete with Google’s own products, and could be a major impetus for them to look for alternatives. While Apple’s iOS is out two alternatives remain that already have at least a bit of mainstream acceptance.

The two are Research in Motion, which reportedly is in talks to license its technology to Samsung. The second and possibly more viable alternative is Microsoft. Its Windows 8 is due soon and it has Intel helping to promote the technology.

Apple and Samsung to settle?
Among the many patent battles being fought across the globe, two of the bigger participants are Apple and Samsung with over 20 cases between the two pending, and now it looks the top bosses will be talking face to face about how to settle the issues.

The two companies have agreed to settlement talks that will be presided over by a San Francisco-based magistrate judge. At the meeting are expected to be Apple chief executive Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung, as well as the general counsel for both companies.

BBC will stream all Olympic games
The BBC is taking an aggressive broadcasting stance for the upcoming Summer Olympics. With the games in its own backyard the broadcasting giant said that it will be broadcasting up to 24 streams of live HD sports to cable and satellite broadcasters for television viewing.

This will enable viewers to watch every Olympic sport, if they were so inclined. The move is an expansion of its previous plan that had called for all of the games to only be broadcast online. In addition it will be broadcasting on BBC One and BBC 3 as well as radio coverage.

This move, coupled with NBC Sports promising to put a huge amount of the games online mean that viewers can now see events that they wish to rather than simply the ones that the broadcasters have determined that viewers want.

No Greek Warship for Olympics?
A Greek trireme powered by 170 rowers has been scratched from the opening ceremonies of the upcoming London Olympics- the reason is that they are afraid that it will be too popular, causing I guess people to actually want to come to the opening ceremony.

That is really too bad because it not every day you see a replica of the Olympias, an ancient warship that was used in one of history’s most important battles sailing by. I hope they are not planning on canceling the basketball portion of the Olympics because I hear that is very popular as well.

Timeout Tuesday: Monday Night Fights Return to the NHL, and a Real ‘Classic’ Skier

Had enough of hoops action for one week? Welcome to the Timeout Tuesday videos, an NCAA hoops-free zone today. How about some hockey? What’s the best thing about the sport — players flashing by quickly on frozen water, a great dance of athleticism, shooting skills and lightning-quick reflexes. Old time hockey, right?

Well… how about something right out of Slapshot instead? Monday night the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils started brawling three seconds after the opening faceoff. Hat tip to Deadspin and Hockey Fights for the video:

From fights to fun: You gotta love the way former World Cup downhill champ Didier Cuche “retired,” with a run down a GS course Saturday in full skiing gear — full gear from the early 1900s, that is, wool knickers, leather rucksack and wooden skis with bear-trap bindings. The video is kind of long, but fun to watch all the way through. In case you didn’t know Didier, he was well liked within the skiing fraternity and won the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill for the fourth time last year. Hat tip to Scott Raynovich for finding the Cuche video.

Timeout Tuesday: Here’s Your Time-wasting Sports Videos

Who doesn’t want a dunk fiesta to start your Tuesday off right? What better way to start than with a Derrick Rose tomahawk, courtesy of the turnstile defense of the Knicks Monday night:

How about golf? Poor Tiger Woods got the O.J. Simpson treatment Sunday with the TV cameras following his car as he left the course after withdrawing because of an Achilles injury. But did you catch him on Saturday, making par “the hard way” after rinsing his tee shot on a par 3? Shades of #16 at Augusta… here is El Tigre, and four other “shots of the week.”

This next one might be unofficial but it was a great play — Colorado’s Carlon Brown caught Arizona sleeping during Saturday’s Pac-12 tournament championship game and slammed one down hard:

And… since I went to CU and can’t remember Buffs hoops ever being worth a damn to watch, a Carlon Brown encore, this one to help polish off Cal in the semis. Who knew Buffs could jam?

And this isn’t a video of her win last weekend (couldn’t find one yet) but we’d like to spend a minute or so honoring American skier Lindsey Vonn, who may just go down in history as the greatest ever for her sport. What I like about this GS at Kranjska Gora is how she almost buys the farm near the end but recovers with such grace that you have to look closely to even see the slip. It’s probably what cost her a podium here but the form is just damn fine skiing. And somehow the foreign-language commentary just makes it seem more exotic.

Recon Instruments Lands $10 M in Venture Funding

Start-up sports analytic display company Recon Instruments recent product launch has helped it close a $10 million investment round that should help the company expand both in the sports field but also pioneer new markets.

The latest round features two investment firms, Vanedege Capital and Kopin Corp. that jointly funded the $10 million. Recon said that the money will help continue its product development. Vanedege is a new investment fund located in British Columbia while Kopin, with its voice-activated, wireless, hands-free Golden-i mobile computing headsets, ruggedized military imaging systems and other products looks much more like a future customer or partner of Recon.

The company was founded in 2006 by 4 MBA students from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business in Vancouver and was initially funded by the founders, their friends and family, skiing enthusiast and a matching grant from the BC Innovation Council. It received bridge funding from Espresso Capital last year.

Recon’s core technology is called Micro Optics Display (MOD) and is designed for use in skiing goggles. It is an adjustable, color widescreen micro LCD that provides real-time information to the athlete such as speed, GPS location, jump airtime, vertical and total distance traveled, temperature, altitude and time, among other features.

There is a range of additional features for the devices ranging from tracking your friends to wireless connectivity to Android-powered smartphones and ability to access playlists.

A customer can either purchase integrated goggles or now buy a unit that can snap in and out of Recon-ready goggles and swapped out when needed. The company has several partners that make compliant goggles including Uvex, Alpina and Briko.

The display is controlled by a device that is strapped on the users arm and includes large buttons so that they can be easily used by owners wearing mittens with communications via Bluetooth connectivity. The company released its second generation products last Fall.