Kopin is a world leader in clothing and micro displays, with a focus on high quality and military applications for years. Recently, with falling prices for displays and the like, they have found ways to market displays in 3D virtual reality headsets, making their way into that market. For athletes, Kopin has created the Recon Jet, cycling glasses that includes a display with Bluetooth connection.
As these products took off on the market, the company sought to know what changes in the behavior and preferences of modern users. This search helps Kopin adapt its products to users, which means reduced size and longer battery life. And as the vast majority of users take their smartphone together on the pedal, Kopin did not focus on re-creating a mini computer, but in their specialty: micro displays.
The result is called Vista, which is a smaller room than any other display out there. And now this technology has taken its place in cycling glasses…
One of the people behind Solos is Dr. Ernesto Martinez, who worked on exoskeletons and bionics at MIT Media Labs. He joined the team to develop glasses focused on sports.Solos is different from Recon Jet in many ways, the first being the screen size-it is tiny.
Instead of the fixed Recon Jet display, Solos has a pivot arm that allows you to vary the height of the display, which is one of the most useful features. The clean part of the arm allows you to see through it rather than creating blind spots.
The Solos Bridge features an integrated noise-canceling microphone that ignores the noise coming from the road so you can give voice commands. It also measures ambient noise to adjust the volume of the headphones:
Stereo speakers are in front of the ear, not inside it, but they send the sound directly to the ear. This allows training suggestions and audible feedbacks instead of visible if you prefer them that way. This also means that you will still be able to hear the ambient sound-traffic, pedestrians and so on.
Another key point between Solos and Recon Jet is that Solos does not think alone. The Solos smartphone app is the brain of the operation. It takes care of information processing and allows you to customize what is on the Solos display and what is being broadcast over the headphones. The advantage is that the electronic apparatus of the glasses do not need to do tons of calculations, allowing them to be lighter and longer battery life, which lasts up to 6 hours per charge, thanks to the ultra dense Simax lithium battery.
Solos collects all the information on your smartphone via Bluetooth, so it can show heart rate, cadence, speed, power and etc., while still using your Smartphone’s GPS for speed and location. All other metrics will come from devices that can connect with your smartphone. This means that ANT + devices can only be used if your phone has ANT + support. Fortunately, there are a growing number of sensors with Bluetooth connection from brands like Wahoo, Stages, Polar/Keo and others in the market.
After the pedaling, the data can be sent to the Strava and Training Peaks. But, the audios can be sent in real time from apps like Google Maps, Strava, MapMyRun and others.Eventually, they will be able to collect data from third-party applications and display them on the display.
The lenses are made of high impact polycarbonate and will also be available in gray, mirrored, transparent or yellow as soon as they start shipping. The lenses are interchangeable.
It is important to mention that the design shown is of a prototype and can be changed.Kopin is soliciting feedback from InterBike to determine what users like and dislike, suggestions, and other things.
In the long run, Kopin works to let the hardware shrink, allowing it to be added to any glasses.
It may take a few months for the first models to ship to their owners, but according to Kopin, the price will be less than $500 (dollars, overseas).