THEY look like a pair of sunnies someone who loves punching Winnie Blues would buy from the servo and that’s half the appeal.
Of course, the other appeal is they are “smart” glasses, which offer a real-time voice activated coaching system, unique training program and performance tracking.
The product in question is Oakley’s Radar Pace glasses outlet — a partnership between the replica sunglasses manufacturer and the tech wizards at Intel.
The glasses have been fitted with internal accelerometer, gyroscope, pressure, humidity, and proximity sensors to help with the performance tracking.
The wearable is also paired to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which acts as the GPS for tracking and feeds analytics to the Radar Pace app.
Additionally, Radar Pace can connect to a number of external sensors used to measure heart rate, power, speed and other metrics you usually track.
The whole system is brought together by three microphones and detachable micro USB ear buds, which allow the user to communicate with the computer coach.
After entering age, height, weight, fitness level, overall goal and other key metrics into the app, the user is given a customised training program they will be coached through in real-time.
Once started, the technology learns from each workout and completes adjustments accordingly.
Alternatively, you can wear the cheap Oakley sunglasses while on a free run and still use the real-time tracking.
While I looked at the program, I mostly opted to use the product for the free run experience.
Similar to what you would expect from a human coach, Radar Pace aims to keep the athlete on track by analysing the performance and offering feedback.
This mostly comes through the sunglasses’ natural voice interaction, which can be heard over music playing in the background.
Users can communicate with the glasses by asking a series of questions related to training — pace, power, heart rate, power and most other analytics you would be curious to know.
To ask the question during your run it’s as simple as saying “OK Radar” to get the computer’s attention.
OK Radar, what’s my current pace?
> You’re current pace is 4 minutes 45 seconds per kilometre, which is just right.
In addition to responding to requests, Radar will give you updates from time to time.
Your current stride rate is 84, you need to get this up to 89. Try talking smaller, quicker steps to keep your pace.
> Why is stride rate important
A low stride rate makes running harder. Increasing stride rate puts less load on your legs, and helps you feel less tired.
It’s all very helpful, although I must admit the microphone does not always respond to commands.
This is frustrating, especially when coupled with the fact you are running down a busy street repeating “OK Radar, OK Radar, OK Radar”, with each attempt to summon the coach met with more anger and profanities mumbled under your breath.
I will admit to feeling like an absolute wanker one more than one occasion, when people stared at me while I spoke to my sunnies.
It’s also mindful to remember that the glasses are always on, so if you get into your music while running and decide to sing along, you might active the coach.
Still rock my khakis with a cuff and a crease, still got love for the streets, repping 213
> Sorry I didn’t quite understand that.
Having mostly used MapMyRun, I will admit the plethora of real-time analytics available from Radar’s voice command is impressive and helps keep you motivated.
However, the product isn’t without its flaws.
I found it hard to keep the headphone buds snug in my ear, with the product frequently slipping.
Not only did this affect the sound quality, but it made it annoying having to push them back in — especially when this paused the playback entirely.
And while the glasses do come with an interchange clear lens, I find it hard to believe anyone would wear them at night or inside on the treadmill.
The plus side is the product has a four hour battery life or up to six if not listening to music throughout the workout.
All things considered, I had a lot of fun testing out the fake Oakley sunglasses and was impressed by the tech.
The problem is it doesn’t come cheap, with the glasses costing $589.95.
Sadly, I would want some of the design and functionality improved before I would pay that price for this product.