Vancouver-based Recon Instruments made a smart paintball mask

Daniel Bader

January 6, 2016 5:12pm

Vancouver’s Recon Instruments, which was acquired by Intel last year, announced today that it has worked with Empire Paintball to release a smart paintball mask.

Based on Recon’s existing Snow2 heads-up display (HUD), which was originally released in late 2013, the Empire EVS mask has an integrated LCD display positioned below the wearer’s right eye, with software developed in conjunction with Empire, to show ammunition count, location on a map, and teammate whereabouts and health. In other words, the mask creates a first-person shooter-like environment for each player.

Because the Snow2 is based on Recon’s existing Android-based platform, which features smartphone-like internals like a dual-core processor, GPU, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS, it was able to work with Empire to develop specialized software for paintballers. The mask itself is reportedly state of the art as well, featuring “a state-of-the-art, ASTM-approved mask design [with a] dual-pane lens system, which is both scratch-resistant and anti-reflective. The mask’s flexible, co-injection molded lower skirt encourages ball bounces, and its thermo-formed ear cover enables both maximum comfort and excellent hearing.”

While I’ve only competed a handful of times in the paintball arena, I’m going to go out on a limb and say wearing the Empire EVS would be a lot of fun.

Recon isn’t saying when the mask will be available, nor what it will cost, but William Parry, a representative for the company, said that this is just the beginning of a much larger product roadmap. The company’s most recent product, the Jet smart eyeglasses, recently dropped in price to $499 USD, or $660 CAD.

  • That is really cool. Takes the game to the next level. Might not need video games with stuff like this coming out

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  • Iz3man

    As an avid player, both bush and mainly speedball, this is both very cool and kinda useless…

    Only time I’d see this being interesting is in a big game… At rates of 15bps ammo count in hopper would just be useless ( hoppers carry 200 rounds, on my team my front guys only use little 50 round hoppers)

    I guess when your sitting behind a bunker hiding, you could check your email and Facebook…

    For $600+ I can find better uses for the money.. Like new loud pipes and jet kit for my bike 😀

    • Allerstern

      I agree with the Big Game aspect, only time I could see it being moderately useful. I personally can’t see it being used within the CXBL (or any of the other leauges). especially with the competitive sponsorship agreements.

  • Allerstern

    Pretty neat idea. Really curious as to how the CXBL and the other leauges will regulate these. Also interested in how “ammo” counters will work and if it will include the pods.

    it does seem like a moderately redundant item to add when you can just yell (to find out where your team is) and count your pods (to know how much paint you have)

    On a side note. I got a good chuckle out of “health”