Recon Instruments stopped by our office today to show off the MOD Live, which puts a tiny Android-powered telemetry display inside the goggles of extreme skiers everywhere. When wearing MOD (or Micro Optics Display) goggles, you'll be able to see where you are, how far and fast you've traveled, the outside temperature, and more. You can also see how high and far you jump, so you can figure out if your epic fifty foot jump really was as cool as it felt. It's a small display in the bottom right corner of your goggles, but it's not distracting — you can glance over for information but have it out of the way the rest of the time. There's a separate Bluetooth remote that can attach to your goggles or strap to your arm, which you use to flip through the various screens and statistics — you can also upload them to Recon's HQ app, where you can see and share your data.
Having Android installed inside the tiny receiver opens up a whole bunch of new uses. The device already has apps like a Buddy Tracker, which lets you track a friend's location, and maps of 600 trails that you can navigate. It can also connect to your Android phone, and control your music or let you know when you get a text or phone call; you can't answer the call, though, which would be seriously cool. The little display would also make a perfect viewfinder for extreme sports cameras like the Contour Roam, which Recon says is coming — the technology and applications are both done, with camera partners coming soon.
We got a chance to play with the MOD Live and non-Android MOD display, which offers stats but no apps or phone connectivity. We tossed the goggles in the air, and as soon as it came down it displayed all the data from the "jump." It also picked up the temperature in the room, and much more as I flipped through the menus. The screen's small — Recon says it's "11 inches from five feet away," but since you'll only be looking at it with the goggles on, it's more like an inch large — but it's sharp, and displays plenty of information. The whole system pops in and out of the goggles pretty easily, which is key because it's only got enough battery and storage for a day's use — it charges and syncs via micro USB, and reps said it can quick-charge in about an hour.
The MOD system comes separately from a pair of goggles, and you'll need special "Recon-enabled" goggles to use them. The simpler MOD is $299, and the MOD Live $399; both are on sale today. There are only a few goggle partners so far, but said that by this winter or next, it would be compatible with "every US brand you can think of." Recon's also launching an Android SDK, so developers can create apps for the device, and is looking into other sports that could use the technology. Hit the gallery below for more shots of the MOD, and check out our hands-on video above as well.