activelook smart glasses
(Photo/ActiveLook)

Keep Your Head Up, Runners! App Pairs Apple Watch With ‘Smart’ Glasses

French tech company MicroOLED launches an augmented reality platform that brings Apple Watch data to smart eyewear.

Do you like to run a lot? Do you use an Apple Watch? And are you tired of craning your neck down just to look at your pulse and travel distance?

If you answered “yes” to all those questions, then you’re exactly the smart glasses customer that MicroOLED is looking for.

The company focuses on bringing data from smart devices like phones and watches to “smart” eyewear. It says it sees potential for the technology among long-distance drivers, industrial workplaces — and competitive sports.

This week, MicroOLED launched Light AR, an app connecting Apple Watches to the company’s ActiveLook platform. While involving advanced technology, the purpose remains simple: allowing Apple Watch users to view their real-time data without breaking stride.

The company’s AR platform connects to the Apple Watch via Bluetooth. It allows users to create up to three “dashboards” of data that appear on smart glasses. That means athletes can bring performance metrics like running pace, heart rate, and running power from their wrists to their glasses. (It’s worth noting that AR for glasses isn’t new.)

But MicroOLED also works with the newest additions to Watch OS 9 Apple announced last week, which include stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.

Light AR Platform Smart Glasses: Details

MicroOLED claims that its ActiveLook platform provides a competitive advantage for endurance athletes like marathoners and triathletes. Many of those athletes rely on real-time metrics in training. Placing that data in their field of view allows them “seamless” access to it without shifting focus, the company said.

“The Apple Watch integration delivers the best ActiveLook experience for runners to date, from simplified setup to super intuitive use with the Apple Watch’s touchscreen combined with the gesture control function found in ActiveLook products,” MicroOLED CEO Eric Marcellin-Dibon said. “Competitive, data-driven runners will greatly benefit from this technology.”

You can download the ActiveLook app for free from the App Store, but consumers need ActiveLook-compatible eyewear to use it. The company’s current partners include ENGO, Julbo, and Cosmo.

As one example, ENGO’s latest smart glasses, the ENGO 2, come with 12 hours of battery life and weigh 36 g at the standard size. While the app might be free, the glasses are not. A pair of the ENGO 2 costs $330 MSRP.

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Andrew McLemore
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An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, which he uses as a home base for adventures throughout the Americas. When he's not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he's hanging out with his dog Campana.