Zeal Optics GPS goggles + video
If skiers and 'boarders can have head-up displays, why not us?
Okay, not technically a road cycling product this but when we saw the Zeal Transcend GPS goggle we all felt like we were 12 again. You know the baddies in those movies who have the special zoom binoculars that superimpose lots of vital information over the (invariably green) image? Well, that's what these bins are like, kind of.
What Boulder-based Zeal Optics have done with their well-regarded winter sports goggles is team up with Vancouver-based Recon Instruments to shoehorn a GPS head-up display into the lens so you can access a bunch of information. Obviously this data wasn't readily available on the fly to snowboarders and skiers before, so it's a big leap forward for them.
Interestingly Zeal market the goggles with the phrase, "no distraction in the fastest environment on the planet" whereas we'd say that the opposite was probably true, since there weren't any numbers floating around inside your goggles previously, and now there are. There's all kinds of metrics available and you can toggle screens by using buttons on the side of the specs. Speed, altitude, temperature, location and distance screens are available plus stopwatches and other useful gubbins, and there's a USB port for downloading the data into Recon's software which allows you to overlay the GPS data on Google maps.
Anyway, on to cycling. While a pair of ski goggles isn't necessarily the eyewear you'd choose for a summer ascent of the Ventoux, there's plenty of mileage in the whole idea of a HUD for cycling. This is information you can access via any number of bar-mounted devices but you do have to take your eyes off the road to look at them, so a lens-mounted display is an obvious next step; either a standalone unit like the Zeal or maybe a Bluetooth slave display for your Garmin/Polar/Smartphone/etc. The Zeal is proof-of-concept in cycling terms, if nothing else: if it can be done for skiing, why not for us? The resolution of the HUD screens available at the moment rules out much by way of mapping, though in a few years' time we'll no doubt all be donning our augmented reality specs and overlaying real time navigation on top of the world outside. Can't wait.
If you're already sold on the idea of the Zeal goggles then you'll need $399 for the polarised version or $499 for photochromics, which compares pretty favourably with a standard GPS and a pair of specs. Head over to www.zealoptics.com for more information on them.