"Okay, Radar - What's my workout today?" I say out loud as I'm getting on my bike. "Today, you're practicing group cycling. We'll be going 38.5mi and climbing 2,910ft," is the response I hear through my smart eyewear.
Yep, that's right - I'm talking to my sunglasses.
On October 3rd, Oakley and Intel released Radar Pace, a hands-free virtual coach built into your eyewear to use for cycling and running. With moveable and detachable earbuds, you can listen and respond back to the glasses to do to various things such as receive feedback about your workout, ask questions like, "how am I doing?, listen to your music, and accept phone calls. Using the free Radar Pace app, Bluetooth, and smart technology, the glasses will collect and analyze personal performance data including power output, heart rate, speed, cadence, time, pace and distance. If you'd like to read more about specs, I'll point you into the direction of the professionals and tell you to click here.
Last week I had the opportunity to go to Kona, Hawaii during the Ironman World Championships and actually put the Oakley Radar Pace glasses to the test. With both the Intel and Oakley team there, we started off on Thursday with a demo day learning all about the glasses. At the Ironman Expo were two large shipping containers turned into a really rad Oakley booth where you could shop Oakley gear, create custom glasses, and of course, watch a live demo of the Radar Pace.
At the demo we watched a guy as he started running on a treadmill while talking to seemingly no one. A female voice responded through the speakers commenting on his stride, heart rate and water consumption. He responded back with questions, and the female voice would respond in real time. While totally hands-free the runner was receiving feedback about his workout via the smart eyewear. My eyes got huge and I immediately had SO many questions. "Can you import your own workouts?" I asked. "No, but the free app has tailored workouts for you based on what you're training for and when the event is." Wow, so the glasses not only talk to you, but the connected app has customizable workout plans. That's pretty awesome. After that, a lot of technology words were throw around and that's where I was a little lost. As much as I love gadgets, I'm 100% into the experience while numbers and fancy words go in one ear and out the other. At this point, I'm totally hung up on the fact that my sunglasses can talk to me! Like, hello - is this real life? My next question was, "can I remove one of the earbuds? Safety first, you know? The answer is yes. You can either bend the arm of the earbud to hover it above or below your ear, or completely detach it.
Later that day, the team took us outside where helmets, kits, shoes, bikes, and Radar Pace glasses were waiting for each of us. I'm a kid in a candy store at this point. I'm taken up to a table where someone works with me one on one to walk me through the process of fitting the earbuds to my ear, adjusting them to make everything as comfortable as possible, and syncing them to my heart rate strap, power meter, and phone. As we are setting everything up, I'm being told that the glasses charge via micro USB, hold a charge for 4-6 hours, come with additional clear lenses in addition to the PRIZM Road lenses, and feature touch sensors on the left side to do things like control my music and adjust the volume. After the glasses are ready to go, another person fits me to my bike, puts brand new cleats on my shoes, and the next thing I know - I'm riding around on a sweet Specialized Roubaix with Di2! What is my life right now?! My heart is full and my mind is blown.
The next day we meet up for a sunrise ride/run with three time world champion, Craig Alexander, where everyone is decked out and ready to test the Radar Pace. I turn on my phone and glasses, ask what my workout is, and a group of us get going. As I'm riding, I'm asking her various questions for fun. "What's my cadence? What's my heart rate? What's my power? Is that good?" She responds with the stats and I keep going. The only thing I wish I would have done is attach the aero clip because when it got really windy going downhill, she couldn't hear me because of the microphone interference. So noted, always use the aero clip. What really got me was when she reminded me to drink water, or better yet, told me that I'm coasting too much (we stopped to take photos, ok?!) haha.
Overall the experience was great and immediately I thought of my friend Liz. How perfect are these for someone who doesn't currently have a coach, but trains and wants an efficient workout? I met up with her last night to tell her all about it and she's sold. With the price point at $449, I rate this as fair. Considering the Oakley PRIZM road glasses (without additional lenses) range from $120-$250 just by themselves, you're also getting headphones with great sound quality, additional clear lenses, an app with customizable workouts, and of course the two-way conversation real-time coach that calibrates to you and just gets better the more you use it.
A big thank you to Oakley for allowing me to be apart of this experience. It's one thing to try a product, but another to meet the people behind the brand, hear about the two years of hard work that went into making the product, and actually have the creators help us out first hand. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you'd like to see Radar Pace in action, please view the video below.