Ride On has started a fund raising campaign on Indiegogo on January 20 targeting 75,000$ to develop augmented reality goggle specifically designed for skiers (and even more specifically for snowboarders). As of February 18th they had managed to harvest 89,146$ and the campaign is open till March 21st.
The bidding for the first batch of Goggle, at 499$ bid, is already sold out.
Take a look at the clip to see what these Goggle promise to do.
At first glance it looks amazing, on second thought I have some doubts. Snowboarding is already considered a dangerous sport, not for the ones practicing it but for those that happen to share the same ski-run. The idea of a snowboarder getting distracted by these augmented reality stimulation makes me wonder if this is actually what we need.
Of course, these reservations of mine just show my old age. I can easily imagine the "cool" voiced by at least one or two of my kids (the youngest ones).
What makes me think is that this technology "space" is now becoming really affordable, not yet cheap, but surely within reach of many. So far we haven't seen a killer product. Google Glass in spite of the noise generated are still a niche product. These Ride On are targeting another niche...
I wonder if as the number of niche applications will grow, and it will, in the end we will find ourselves embedded in augmented reality without even having realised what was happening. In the not so distant future I can imagine that my prescription glasses (I am short-sighed) will embed a tiny screen that could be activated in case of need to provide me a better awareness of my context. At that point I will not even think of them as a gadget, just as a normal thing. Do you think of the television remote control as a gadget or rather as an integral part of your television set? And yet, many many years ago people (like me) were saying that it didn't make any sense to pay for a remote control, it was not such a big deal to stand up from the couch and change the channel or increase volume with your hand!
Times changes and, I am afraid, we change along with them.