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For the skier/rider who has everything: Oakley Airwave 1.5 ski goggles

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I was recently given an in-store demonstration of Oakley’s state-of-the-art Airwave 1.5 ski goggles the Oakley store at Park Meadows Mall in south Denver. With a price tag of around $650 they were far outside my price range.

With one teenager getting ready for college and another coming up right behind him, plus the precipitous rise in the cost of living, I’ll be lucky to get a new pair of goggles by the end of this decade. Perhaps I can talk someone from the Baby Boomer generation, now safely ensconced in a relatively secure retirement, into getting me one for Christmas.

After checking the Airwave 1.5 out, I’d love to have it. I can’t speak to the efficacy of the goggles on the slopes, but given Oakley’s reputation I’m sure the performance is top-notch. But these aren’t just goggles; they’re connected to just about everything you’d want to connect to, and more.

The big deal here is the heads-up display (HUD) found in the bottom right corner of the goggles. Though it’s a relatively tiny screen, when you put the goggles on it renders as a 15-inch screen viewed at four feet away would.

The photo shows the tiny screen inside the goggles that makes up the HUD, but the photo doesn’t do justice to what you actually see when you saddle up with the Airwave 1.5. Whatever Oakley has done with the screen renders a seamless image along the bottom of the goggles. It’s like being an Apache helicopter pilot, except without the helicopter.

I have the Ski Tracks app on my iPhone to track my ski day. The Airwave 1.5 is much cooler because you can do the same thing but it’s all there on your HUD; no need to fish out your iPhone and drop it in the snow as you ride the lift.

The Airwave 1.5 comes with a wrist band with easy-to-use controls. No fuss, no muss. Plus, you get jump analytics, which is a fancy way of saying you can measure the amplitude and frequency of said jumps, if you’re one who takes a lot of jumps.

The ski tracking is the feature that really got my attention, but there’s a lot more you can do with the goggles that connect you to the outside world, so to speak… You can receive texts and social media messages, play music from players like Spotify or Pandora or your phone’s playlist, pinpoint your location at the ski resort, and track friends and family who have the goggles or the Airwave 1.5 app on their smart phone.

The secret to all the cool features is the Airwave 1.5’s integrated Wi-Fi, GPS, MFi Bluetooth and onboard sensors. It’s a lot of technology packed into a pair of goggles, therefore the high price tag. If you have the disposable income, a hankering for tracking as much as possible during the ski day and to be connected during your ski day, the Airwave 1.5 is an excellent fit.

More info at www.oakley.com/airwave.

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