Watch out, Recon Jet and Garmin Varia – the Solos Smart Glasses are coming

Where is the HUD - Solos Smart Cycling Glasses (image: kickstarter/©

Where is the HUD – Solos Smart Cycling Glasses (image: kickstarter/©

After Google has driven the Google Glass against the wall has withdrawn Google Glass to evaluate the professional capabilities out of the public debate, the topic of Smart Glasses indeed is fallen to sleep. But there is still a range that where a development takes place. Sports or to be more precise: cycling. Ok, now that was obvious. Here smart glasses probably makes the most sense at the current technically possible state of art.

The oldest tree in the wood is of course  Recon with the Recon Jet. Garmin has then joined with the Varia Vision to. But now, one more representative of the Head Up Display, the Solos Smart Cycling Glasses for athletes has arrived at the market.

Like the other two candidates Solos is equipped with a small head-up display, through which you can see the current values of your run directly in your field of vision. There is no need to look at a cycling computer or raise your arm to watch at your timepiece.

A few extra gadgets such as speakers and microphones are also installed. Let’s see how Solos differs from the two competitors…

All three candidates are working with the same resolution (16: 9 WQVGA). The battery life is expected to be some kind of even with all three candidates.. I guess that all three can last at least 5 to 6 hours.

Opposite the Solos and Garmin the Recon Jet is equipped with various sensors and GPS. To get the data Garmin and Solos has to be paired with a cycling computer (Garmin) or smartphone (Solos). Without both are therefore relatively useless. Advantage of this waiver, however, is that the dimensions of the solos and the Garmin can be kept considerably smaller compared to the jet.

While the jet with its large battery pack and the bottom flanged display unit looks more like a mixture of night vision goggles and Space gadget, Garmin has evaporated the Varia Vision so small that it is only a small meatball to clip it to an existing spectacle.

One just doesn’t need large batteries, when the data is not generated directly in the device.

Solos is a little in between. Unlike the Garmin we are dealing with a full-fledged and high-quality spectacle. The display unit is got so small that they can be almost seen only at second glance. Minimal clunky the glasses looks really only because of the built-in speaker, which under a helmet certainly should not be noticeable.

 (image: kickstarter/©

(image: kickstarter/©

While on the Jet, the display is placed firmly at the bottom of the field of view, you can adjust it on the  Solos and Garmin in certain angels by yourself.

Theoretically, therefore, the Garmin and the Solos seems to be quite similar. Apart from the fact that you still need an existing or yet to be buying glasses for Garmin. The big difference is in the connection to the environment. While you are limited with Garmin on a very small number of Garmin cycling computer and recently a sports watch, Solos only needs a rudimentary current smartphone to work. This should reduce the cost of the overall system significantly.

This naturally also worth a look at it. While the jet costs currently about $ 500 well have to pay for Garmin only $ 400. The Solos costs exactly the same in the Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve managed it to get an  Early Bird it’s only $ 250.

For $ 500 for Jet you should keep in mind that this is equipped with more sensors, GPS and a camera. Ok, the camera can be dispensed probably. The videos will not be comparable to those of a good action cam with a good mount or a gimball.

For the Garmin you actually have to add the cost of spectacles and the necessary Garmin computer, so if you don’t have this yet it’s gonna be expensive.

You see, the Solos is priced very well . Unfortunately, you have to carry around a smartphone with you, which is a bit annoying, at least while running. But maybe it can be used with a cheap Android-China SmartWatch. Those things can be bought at gearbest indeed already for well below $ 100.

This much at least to the hard facts. As the software of the eyeglasses is not easy to judge from a distance for me, of course. Garmin has so much good stuff boast of experience in the field of sports technology. Recon tinkers around long time enough to put something useful on their feet for the Jet.

The interesting thing about the solos probably is, that they worked from the start of development together with the Team USA Olympic Cycling. So you can hopefully assume that here the benefits for the athletes was in the foreground and not the opinion of the mother of the woman from the boss.

The shared images of the development makes a real good impression on me. They have obviously left the “I’ll show only 3D renderings” phase.

 (image: kickstarter/©

(image: kickstarter/©

The only really big downside that I can make out (apart from the usual crowdfunding concerns) is that currently the Solos is only sold to North America. The shipment to Europe is still evaluated. But if you mail to you can get notified when the international shipping is possible. Unfortunately, the Early Birds will all be gone then.

The good:

  • Remarkable small display
  • Adjustable display position
  • Good conzept
  • Very good price
  • Credible state of development
  • Technical advice from a professional world class cycle team

The bad:

  • Only usable with a paired smartphone
  • Only available to the north Americans (could be change)

The ugly: