Recon engineers helped make that happen by combining the Sitara processor with TI's TPS65950 power management IC. Working side-by-side TI engineers, they were able to modify the drivers and circuitry of the Sitara chip to reach a power consumption goal of as little as 0.1 mW in standby. "The standby number is good, but if you're skiing, you might also want to know how fast you're going, or you might want to check your messages," Russell Crane, TI's Sitara product marketing manager, said in an interview. "With this device, you'll only consume 700 mW, even in maximum power mode."
MOD can display speed, video, and maps that can be seen beneath the user's right eye. (Source: Recon Instruments)
Power for the MOD display comes from a tiny lithium polymer battery, rated at 3.7V and 1,200 mAh, which resides inside the ski goggles.
Six companies are now integrating the MOD display into "Recon-ready" goggles, Zheng said. Those include: Uvex Sports, Alpina, Briko, Zeal Optics, Scott Sports, and Smith Optics.
Although other types of head-mounted displays have been available in the past, Recon says its display is the first system of its kind to be to be offered to the consumer market. "Recon has been able to bring micro-displays into everyday life with this product," said TI's Crane. "You can add this to a pair of glasses for running or cycling, or even to a scuba diving mask."
Hey Tekochip, users interact with MOD Live using the 6 buttons on the wireless Bluetooth low energy remote. The remote is worn like a watch over the skier's jacket, or it can be attached to the goggle strap as well. Here's a picture of the remote on my wrist: http://i.imgur.com/Ykr4v.jpg
Since the emergence of Go-Pro and YouTube, the average sports enthusiast has been strapping on cameras and showing anyone interested where they've been and what they've done. It all follows the larger trend of Tribalism-sharing and connecting with like-minded people without geographic limits.
The data recorded can help back up any claims of extreme altitude, speed, etc.
I'm sure that safety is a big concern and will be addressed. Sorry I missed this at CES. I'd like to see the actual display through the goggles.
For competitive skiers this would be useful, perhaps. For a race car driver, where a machine is being controlled, the information might be useful. For a skier, I am not sure of what additional help it would be. And when you are on the slopes, do you really want to answering your phone?
On the other hand, this is a great example of what can be done with some modern microcontrollers to lower power comsumption and operate in extreme environments.
I see a holiday present in the making for my gadget-loving, 24/7 connected husband who constantly has smart phone in hand on the slopes. While I imagine a host of other takers like him, I have to wonder at the safety issues related to having all that "digital noise" clouding your vision when careening down the slopes. Not much different than people's reaction to folks checking email, GPS, and texting while driving. On second thought, perhaps not such a good gift....
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