Oakley’s Radar Pace smart sports sunglasses, built in collaboration with Intel, are hitting stores in a matter of days.
The voice activated sports specs were teased on stage at CES 2016 after years of development – Intel signed a deal with Oakley’s parent company Luxottica way, way back in December 2014.
So what’s so exciting? The Radar Pace sunglasses cost $449 and will go on sale in the US (and other unspecified countries) on 1 October. Built into the frames are a pair of removable earphones, three microphones and a host of sensors – an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer and humidity and proximity sensors. We don’t know what exact Intel chip is being used, we assume it’s Curie.
The wearable doesn’t overlay an AR display on top of the wearer’s vision, like Google Glass and the sporty Recon Jet. Instead all the controls and coaching are handled via Intel’s Real Audio natural language processing tech.
You can interact with Siri or Google Voice if you like but if you start a command with ‘OK Radar’ you can access fitness information like what workout you’re doing that day, coaching on lowering or increasing your pace and heart rate data (from a third party monitor). Then over in the companion Radar Pace app for iOS and Android you can enter your personal stats and manage workout goals as you go.
Oakley is referring to its real time coaching as helping athletes so it’s not clear how amateur it expects its customer base to be. The initial word is that the smartglasses will be compatible with other fitness apps and devices.
As an obvious extra, you can also play music from your phone via Bluetooth and take phone calls and there’s touch sensitive controls for this – the voice control is all hands free. A big selling point here is that they look just like regular Oakley sunglasses – from the front at least – and you can swap out the lenses for the ones you like, including from its Prism range.