Winter tech

Gear that brings the digital world to the white wonderland

The best forms of technology don’t alter life; they enhance it. There’s no shame in bringing some tech with you to the great outdoors, slopes or ski resort. Embrace the robot overlords, and grab some gear that allows you to quantify, share and prolong your winter adventures.

Transcend GPS Goggle

Video games love to use the idea of HUDs (Heads-Up Displays), view screens placed in helmets or ocular implants that let the user access information or an augmented reality. Well, we’re still a ways off from detecting aliens through our contact lenses, but Zeal Optics’ new ski goggle brings a slice of science fiction to the snow. Integrated within the goggle is an LCD display that lets you view real-time information obtained from a camera and GPS device—both mounted in the eyewear—as you hurtle down the hill. Users can see their altitude, speed, and even a vertical odometer and then plot their course over Google Maps. Now, if your friends don’t believe that you hit a 20-foot jump at 80 mph, you’ll have the data to back you up. And with a lithium-ion battery that provides approximately seven hours of use, you won’t have to worry about missing a thing. Back at the lodge, the USB port allows you to upload the information to a computer using Recon Instrument software (included) so you can analyze your runs for places to improve or save those wicked tricks for prosperity and bragging rights. A polarized, anti-fog lens keeps the glare out of your eyes, and aside from three buttons on the side, these goggles look and act like any other model (though they range from $399–$499), so no clunky head-mounted camera or extra gadgets to carry. Just remember the words of dear old mom: “Watch where you’re going.”

I-Finger Gloves

Playing hooky and want to check your work email to ensure the office didn’t descend into anarchy while you ascend the chair lift? Need to make sure you copy the snow bunny’s phone number into your Nokia perfectly? Well, you could tear off the gloves and expose your toasty fingers to the freezing cold, but this is America. We have workarounds. Swany’s tech-friendly gloves feature small pads on the thumb and fingertips that let you accurately hit the analog or digital keys on your Blackberry or iPhone. Setting you back $40, the sleek gloves are discreet (though awkwardly named) so you don’t scream nerd while screaming down the mountain, but you’ll be able to keep in touch without losing feeling.

Elite Nomad 7M Solar Panel

Last time we checked, trees don’t have power outlets nestled in the branches. Luckily, GoalØ has hit upon an amazing discovery: solar power. Weighing just under a pound, this foldable solar panel has USB and DC outputs capable of charging most devices in less than a few hours. Folded, it’s smaller than a sheet of binder paper, so you can easily pack it for the rustic cabin or backwoods hike. From the practical (GPS unit) to the extraneous (MP3 player), your unnecessary necessities will always have juice for $99. Now if someone would just tell big oil about this solar power thing.