Oakley to Launch Snow Goggle With Heads-Up Display and Sell It at Apple Stores

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Oakley CEO Colin Baden.

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.— Oakley is releasing its first snow goggle with a heads-up display and will distribute it through select Apple stores and at Apple.com, another first for the company.

The new goggle, Oakley Airwave, combines Oakley’s best goggle technologies with a heads-up display developed by Recon Instruments, integrating GPS, Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity and other features with a host of onboard sensors, the company said. The Airwave can be controlled with a wrist mounted device. An Oakley-designed app allows the wearer to locate and track friends that either have the Oakley Airwave goggle or the app on their smartphone.

“Our icon defines the leading edge of performance innovation, and the new Airwave goggle brings alpine sports into the future with a stunning array of capabilities,” said Oakley CEO Colin Baden, pictured here with an Airwave. “It utilizes cutting-edge electronics to give skiers and riders instant access to a world of information. Airwave represents the power and possibility of technology, and it comes with world-class optical performance, comfort and protection engineered over decades of Oakley innovation.”

Baden told VMail that Oakley’s decision to sell Airwave through Apple stores in North America, Europe and Japan and through the Apple website is “an interesting change to our business model. We’re aspirational that it’s successful in that channel,” he said. “I think they do a pretty good job as a premium retailer, and that their associates are pretty well trained to discuss the details of the product.

“I’m not sure how many avid skiers think they should walk to their nearest Apple store to get their optical products,” Baden continued. “But suffice it to say if we leverage this into eyewear, then I see a real relevance in that partnership in that it’s the place where the technology and mobile device come alive. And there’s a real strong connection between what we do in the technology space, so I think it’s a good field to experiment and understand.”

Oakley Airwave will also be sold at Oakley stores and Oakley.com, as well as at SunglassHut.com; ReconInstruments.com; and select retail locations including a range of resort destinations.

Baden said the goggles will retail for $599, about twice the price of a premium Oakley snow goggle without electronics.