Oakley Radar Pace

In October I was invited out to beautiful Kona, Hawaii during the Iron Man World Championships with Oakley. I arrived on the scene knowing little about what I was getting into, but as I experienced earlier this year with their Prizm Performance Lab in Mammoth, Oakley never fails to deliver on a good experience. The occasion was setup to test and spread the word of their new Radar Pace eyewear – the latest offering from the Oakley Lab. These glasses certainly are one of a kind, in that they have a built in computer that acts as your personal trainer/coach for fitness activities. There’s a lot of tech packed what’s already a really great pair of sunglasses.


As soon as you hear wearable computer, a host of clunky and not quite-there-yet devices probably come to mind. Luckily Oakley is pretty good at creating sleek products, and this one is no exception. If you were just handed these glasses you honestly wouldn’t know there was anything different about them, and that’s a good thing. They are light, sleek, and feature Oakley’s awesome Prizm lenses. The styling is obvious that they are meant for sports – cycling and running for the most part.  The glasses are built upon and look almost identical to Oakley’s super popular Radar EV Path sport sunglasses; only difference being side arms are a bit taller, and there’s usb ports for little earbuds on the arms. Now, let’s get back to the computer part of it all…

radarheldIt’s all pretty miraculous what they can fit into the lightweight and delicate feel of this eyewear. The battery sits on one side, inside one of the side arms, with a flex cable running through the arm hinge, across the bridge of the glasses, and through the next arm hinge to the other side arm where the computer/brains sit. There’s no visual element to this computer system; the only interaction you’ll have with the Radar Pace is through speech and audio (except for a small touch pad on the side).  First off, the Radar Pace connects up to your phone via Bluetooth. They’ll also connect to any other BT peripherals you might have (heart rate monitor, etc). The companion Radar Pace app helps you setup what sort of workout or goal you’re trying to hit.  It’ll give you target distances, pace, and time each day you work out based upon your end goal. As you work out, Radar Pace eyewear will be giving you realtime updates & coaching to get you to the finish line via the built in headphones through audio updates. If you’re ever curious what your goal is or how you’re doing, you can simply ask during your workout. Not sure what to ask? You can always ask “What can I ask?”

Oakley Partnered up with Intel to deliver a very high-end speech/interaction experience with the Radar Pace eyewear. It utilizes something Intel has been developing for years called Intel Real Speech, allowing you to have natural conversation vs. having to use predetermined voice activations (ahem, GoPro 🙂 ).  It recognizes conversational interaction, and subsequent questions once you’re talking about a specific topic. The natural speech element to control and interact with the glasses enable you to focus on the activity at hand without ever taking your eyes off of the goal.

Typically when you’re out on a run or a bike ride, you’ve got stats of some sort already guiding your workout whether it’s in your phone via Strava, or on a smart watch. As sleek as these experiences are, it requires you to break focus and glance down to see how you’re tracking. Most of the time it’s a simple time based experience where you’re checking interval pace. With Radar Pace it is integrated into information like heart rate, what your overall goal is, and how you’ve been doing over the past few weeks/months in training. It’ll be the voice in your head that tells you to push a little harder, or ease off to give yourself some more breath.  The interaction is such that it feels natural and won’t get in the way or make you break focus.

When you start your workout, Radar Pace is using GPS to know when you’re starting your workout and when you take breaks or stop. You don’t have to say go or press any start buttons. Because it connects to your phone it also links into Siri on iPhone.  You can speak through Radar Pace to Siri.  It’ll also play music from your favorite music streaming apps through the headphones.  The headphones are built so they can sit just outside your ears so you can hear your surroundings, if you need; otherwise they can be used like normal earbuds. Lastly, it can be used to make and receive calls. On the side of the side arm of the glasses is a little touch pad where you can change volume or song, pause, move forward to the next song, etc.

The glasses will last around 2 long workouts on a single charge.  You can always ask the Radar Pace how the battery life is at any point and it’ll tell you how your battery and your phone battery are doing.

Throughout the week in Kona we were set free to do activities of our choosing and utilize the Radar Pace in the real world. I enjoy these kinds of trips because instead of coming home having gone on vacation binge eating food, I come home energized and full of good exercise 🙂 ! Anyway, using the Radar Pace was very intuitive and never intrusive. I would be wearing Oakley glasses on a bike ride anyway, so there was no change in what I’d have to do during my workout. If it’s dark out or you don’t need sunglasses, the Radar Pace comes with a clear lens. Using the tech, it felt good to have the updates of how I was doing throughout my rides. I’m always using Strava for my running and this makes the whole experience feel a little more worthwhile and part of something greater. Since it knows what my goals are, it helps me reach them each day instead of simply stacking miles in an app. All in all, I was very impressed with the tech and if you’re a long distance runner or cyclist that needs to train, these glasses will be right up your alley.

Onto the experience a little more! We were treated to a lovely stay at the Sheraton Hotel in Kona, which had an epic waterslide right off the back porch of my room. Of course I went down it every chance I got.  I also went for stand up paddling out on the ocean, some snorkeling and freediving (when I dropped my HERO5 to the ocean floor and had to retrieve it), night time manta ray swimming, and of course viewed the starting and finishing of the Iron Man World Championships! Lastly, I got an epic last minute invite to go on a wild boat ride right up to the active lava flows from the Kilauea Volcano! That was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and it did not disappoint. The boat would ride right up onto the shore where lava was pouring out onto the sand and into the ocean. It was spewing from the rocks, bubbling, popping and steaming.  At one point we were completely inundated with hot steam and couldn’t see anything in front of us!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! This was not a paid advertisement, though Oakley does know how to hook it up with the schwag 😉 You can buy the Radar Pace glasses here



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