Recon Empire EVS smart paintball mask highlights Intel's wearable ambitions

CES 2016: HUD mask is just one of a number of new Intel innovations
Recon mask highlights Intel's ambitions

Wearable technology is evolving at a rapid rate and new genres are cropping up every day. We've got smartwatches, fitness trackers, running assistants, VR headsets, connected textiles and smart jewellery to name a few.

However, until now, we didn't have a smart paintball mask.

Luckily, Recon has plugged that obvious gap in the market with the Empire EVS – the world's first smart paintball mask.

Much like Recon Jet sunglasses, the Empire EVS provides HUD visuals for real time metrics. But instead of showing display speed, pace and distance, the info is paitball related – so think ammunition counts, field maps, and teammate locations.

Located in the bottom right of the mask, the Empire EVS actually packs the Recon Snow2 HUD tech – so that's a LCD display that appears as a 14-inch screen from 5-feet away. It packs a dual core 1GHz CPU and connects using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is, of course, GPS on board for location accuracy.

"The Empire EVS showcases the versatility of Recon heads-up display technology," said Tom Fowler from Head Worn Devices, Intel.

"Through our collaboration with Empire, which involved the development of paintball-specific software for Snow2's Android-based operating system, we were able to bring the benefits of instant, direct-to-eye information delivery to an entirely new group of customers. Our open software development kit (SDK) allows any third-party developer to extend the capabilities of Recon devices in this manner."

And there's the real reason the EVS exists. Don't forget that Intel acquired Recon back in June 2015.

The silicone giant is pushing wearable tech in a big, big way – and not just by providing processors for smartwatches (although it does that as well).

Intel's big wearable ambitions

Ultimately, Intel wants to democratise building wearables so it's not all about fitness or do-everything smartwatches.

"You have to cater to a wider range of people," Ayse Ildeniz, Intel's VP of New Devices, told Wareable last year. "You need to be able to enrich somebody's life in India, you need to make a difference to someone's life in rural China and somebody who lives in San Francisco like me."

Intel has demoed a huge range of wearable tech products, from the Opening Ceremony MICA to the Tag Heuer Connected, to a smart bra powered by the affordable, button-sized Curie module.

And it's been super busy boasting about its wearable ambitions at CES 2016. As well as New Balance and Fossil announcing new connected timepieces powered by Intel, it also detailed real time professional sport analysis using Curie, snowboards packing the module and a new pair of connected specs from Oakley.

Check out the video above for the full lowdown from the CES 2016 keynote.

Intel is buying into the wearable revolution in a big way – it will be fascinating to see what devices and platforms evolve in 2016.

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1 Comment

  • Clesse says:

    Hello I'm Daniel from Luxembourg

    I think you have a potent system there, and you would gain enormous positiv PR feedback if you would install a system which is switchable from the right side to the left side too, or at least sell masks, glasses where you can choose which side the display will be located.

    I am onesided blind, on the right side. So your product is genius bit nonsense for me.

    The key word is: eye diseases.

    The possibilitys you could give to a person with onesided eye disease is unmatchable. Liveview from a cam mounted on the blind spot of your viewrange, possibility to get a reversing mirror (could be used by everyone),...

    I know this would be a niche product... but when you make it both sided useable, the niche grows. When you promote it as big help for people wirh eye disease it will for sure help your company to gain in PR (even maybe get money from healthcare).

    Since the product is already developed, the research and production cost would be little compared to your potential gain.

    Sincerely

    Daniel Clesse

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