Vancouver-based Recon Instruments has officially launched its latest wearable, the Recon Jet. The smart glasses were announced in 2013 and have faced numerous delays, many of which were documented in great detail by the company’s founders. Now that it is shipping, Canadians can purchase the set for $849, with deliveries beginning next week.
Recon’s Jet is targeted to sports and recreational-minded individuals who don’t want to miss a single notification. The Jet connects to your smartphone or other wearables, and features a 1Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB SDRAM, and a high-contrast display that delivers “contextually relevant information instantly, just below the user’s right eye.”
Recon’s CMO, Tom Fowler, told us in an email that is is proud of his company’s Canadian heritage. “Being in Canada, and in Vancouver in particular, has been a real asset in Jet’s development,” he said. “The quality of talent here is amazing. It makes Vancouver a real ‘Silicon Valley of the North,’ if you will.”
It was his team’s proximity to the ski slopes that kept them working while they played. “But the unique thing has been the combination of that talent with a super-strong sensitivity to outdoor sports. That combination has fed our activity-specific, sports-centered design philosophy, which of course is a core differentiator for Recon and Jet. We’re not into tech for tech’s sake per se. We’re invested in tech to solve real problems and deliver insane value for very specific use cases. Not being swept up in the hype of The Valley has perhaps allowed us to focus more specifically on our unique vision.”
To that end, the Jet has a number of sensors, including GPS, and can be controlled by its optical touchpad, located on the side. Apart from receiving notifications like caller ID and text messages, the Jet records metrics like speed, pace, distance, duration, and vertical elevation and can communicate with a smartphone app to deliver precise information. The battery lasts several hours, but “can be easily swapped on the go for all-day performance.”
The Recon Jet also has a built-in “point-of-view” camera that can capture still images or HD videos. The Jet is resistant to both water and dust and its touchpad can also be used with gloves.
A long time coming, it’s great to see this piece of Canadian technology finally hit the market, even if it is significantly more expensive – and later – than was initially intended.