Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to sell it. Samuel Butler

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The PDA needs to be coupled with Oakley’s new Heads-Up Opticon line of goggles in order for users to make full use of the Blackberry’s versatile technology. Starting at a MSRP of CDN$250 the entry-level Heads-Up is a passive-interactive digital display employing infra-red technology to display signals from the PDAs onto the inner surface of the double-lens, antifog, mirrored goggle.

"It’s a great goggle and it’s a 16x9 format, colour digital display," said the Oakley rep. Coupled with the PDA, wearers can e-mail, phone, conference or surf the net while they shred the pow. "Although we highly recommend you text and surf only while you’re riding the chairlift," warned the rep.

Taking advantage of the same technology and a real-time feed from GPS satellites, the Oakley Coast Range goggle takes the same digital display technology to its extreme. Like handheld GPS wayfinders, the Coast Range comes with enough on-board memory to download a detailed, 3-D topographic map of any of several dozen popular ski mountains.

Visual sensors mounted inconspicuously on the goggles read ambient light and fog and when visibility drops to dangerously low levels, the goggles display a realtime readout of exactly what the wearer would see if the slopes in front of him were bathed in "… wondrous bright sunshine," reads the marketing literature.

"With a pair of Coast Ranges on your face, you can ski in pea soup fog with no fear, Dude," said the man from Oakley about the still to be priced goggles.

Asked if it was true the beta version of the goggles had been named Whistler and Intrawest honcho Big Joe Houssain had paid the company an undisclosed amount to drop the Whistler moniker, the rep replied, "What kind of fools do you think we are?"

April fools?