Recon's Google Glass lookalikes open for preorders at $500

The Vancouver company is starting to take preorders for its Jet glasses. They're aimed at athletes, who can track their performance by way of a wirelessly connected heads-up display.

Former professional cyclist George Hincapie wearing the Recon Jet wireless connected eyewear with a heads-up display monitor. Recon Instruments

Recon Instruments, which debuted its wirelessly connected eyewear with a heads-up display at Google I/O last month, is starting to take preorders for the gadgets.

Consumers can place orders now for the Recon Jet for $500 at jet.reconinstruments.com. And though the glasses debuted at Google I/O, they have nothing to do with Google Glass, despite some striking similarities.

The Vancouver, B.C., company said the limited "Pilot Edition" model will begin shipping in December and continue into 2014 on a first come, first served basis. That ship date will be "several months prior to full production" of the Recon Jet glasses, at which point the price will jump to $600.

The Pilot Edition glasses will ship with applications designed for cyclists and triathletes. And because the glasses can connect to other devices, using both Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, athletes will be able to keep track of a variety of performance data including heart rate, speed, distance traveled, and power output on the display at the bottom of the right lens.

Recon says the Jets will even display caller ID on incoming calls, as well as text messages, so athletes can decide with a glance whether they want to stop to take a call or respond to a message.

Recon unveiled the Jets at Google I/O because the glasses use some components from the Web giant's Android mobile operating system.

"To say the response exceeded our expectations would be a massive understatement," Recon CEO Dan Eisenhardt said in a statement.

Nope. Not Google Glass. These are prototype sunglasses featuring Recon Instruments' Jet heads-up display. Recon Instruments

The company said it plans to launch a software development kit, before the first Jets ship, in order to give developers time to create applications for the glasses.

To build hype for the glasses, Recon enlisted 17-time Tour de France rider George Hincapie (who also has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs) to tout the Jets.

"It is amazing how the display is only visible when you want it to be and is completely invisible when you don't," Hincapie said in a statement. "It will make a tremendous difference for cyclists not to have to look down at their bike computer or smartphone for data, taking their focus away from their activity."

 

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