Recon Instruments Showcases Digital Eyewear at Google I/O

Recon Instrument’s Jet HUD-eyewear.

Recon Instruments exhibits its digital sunglasses, Recon Jet, at Google’s annual developer conference

Wearable technology has made big waves in 2013. From Kickstarter-funded Pebble smart-watches to Google Glass, the search giant’s all-seeing digital eyewear, startups and Silicon Valley giants alike have their eyes on this market.

Recon Instruments Inc., a B.C. hardware developer, exhibited its newest consumer gadget to software developers and the media at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco.

Founded by four UBC students in 2008, Recon Instruments is a developer of heads-up display technology, sport-specific glasses and goggles outfitted with an HD camera, Android apps, GPS and bluetooth connectability to smartphones and tablets.

If goggles with a SIM-card sized corner screen sounds like another product that’s had a mega rollout this year, Recon Instruments’ CTO Hamid Abdollahi isn’t too concerned.

“[Google] Glass has really promoted this category, which is great for us,” says Abdollahi.

Instead of a major cross-category consumer rollout, Recon Instruments is focusing on verticals where it has seen success since it launched Transcend in 2010, ski googles with an LCD screen that measures data on altitude, location, user speed, temperature and time.

Recon’s DNA is in sport-specific apparel and Jet will target cyclists, runners and triathletes, says Abdollahi. However, the company has plans to move into niche markets like medical technology and emergency services. Recon Jet is not yet available to consumers, and the company has yet to finalize a release date and price point.

Recon Instruments Inc. raised $10 million in series A funding in late 2011 from a group led by Vanedge Capital, a Vancouver venture capital fund that focus on digital media. It recently began its series B round of financing.