Hi-Tech Goggles Bring Augmented Reality To The Slopes

View from the RideOn augmented reality ski goggles.

When the mercury gets near zero degrees, it’s time to hit the slopes. You could don your tried-and-true gear (Helmet? Check! Boots? Check!), or you could try something new and different. Augmented reality (AR) goggles are the next wave of technology adding value and excitement to winter sports.

With the Tel Aviv, Israel based RideOn augmented goggles, you can transform and enhance your time on the slopes. Users are even able to set up an obstacle course to ride through, earning points on the way.

For a limited time, $519 gets you the pair of goggles, from which you can access a myriad list of options, such as finding out exactly where you are on the map- helpful should you get turned around while snowboarding or skiing. It can also help you find entertainment and food without needing to get out your phone. Again, helpful when you’ve got gloves on and don’t want to take them off to perform a search.

The RideOn AR technology helps to blur the line between computer-generated content and what’s really, physically there.

When you’re waiting for your turn for a chair lift and want to have some fun while passing the time, you can play a game. You can check your email. You can make reservations for dinner. All in the comfort of your goggles.

The idea of augmented reality, which is to place an image, or superimpose graphics, and other sensory information, isn’t new. The way RideOn works is while wearing the goggles, the user chooses what they wish to select by looking for a few seconds at the icon of their choice. To look all of the choices available, the wearer simply turns their head.

But is using this product safe? With several years of research with user experience under their belt, their augmented reality approach makes their graphics appear so seamlessly in front of you, you’ll think the objects are really there. Their display viewing area is big, 3x bigger than what Google Glass offers. The size of the device may seem a little big but it only weighs 8.4 ounces (240g)-it won’t weigh you down.

RideOn’s GPS makes sure you always know where you are and helps you get where you want to go, all in a hands-free, safe way. With 8 hours of battery usage available, no need to worry about running of juice as you take to the slopes. When you do need to recharge, plug in the microUSB cord to your computer and let it charge.

RideOn’s successful Indegogo campaign raised over $111,000 dollars to make their vision of snow sports a reality. Their Co-founders, Ori Kotek and Alon Getz, each have over a decade of experience in jet-pilot visual and inertial systems.

Wanting to be as user-friendly as possible, they created a floating user interface that the wearer interacts with without losing visibility. It’s centered in the middle of the display, not the sides, as in other AR goggles. Because they are skiers and snowboarders themselves (and have friends and family that are) they designed this device for ease of use and usability in mind.