It’s hard to believe that nearly three decades have past since Oakley began improving motorsport with its first product: dirt bike and BMX handgrips. Today, the company has morphed into a powerhouse, specializing in performance eyewear and sports goggles. At a gathering at its sister company, Red Digital Cinema, it hinted about the possible future of its eyewear.
“One of the most important events in 2014 is that we’re 30 years old inventing in a category that never existed before—sports performance eyewear,” said Oakley’s CEO, Colin Baden, to an applause-filled audience that included such personalities as reigning Supercross champ Ryan Villopoto, as well as actor and leading man of the popular HBO series Entourage, Adrian Grenier
Although wearable electronics is a hot topic these days, Oakley was the first to market
(Top) Oakley hosts a gathering at its sister company, Red Digital Cinema to announce its intention to develop a new line of digital performance eyewear. (Bottom) Oakley prides itself on its superb optical clarity as this laser test demonstrates proving that its lenses maintain clearness and do not distort.
a decade ago with its original Thump sunglasses. The Thump offered integrated speakers that allowed users to enjoy their favorite music wirelessly, anytime, anywhere. Most recently, Oakley produced the Airwave snow sports goggle that uses a colorful heads up display that is fed through a GPS and can be linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth or WIFI.
Now, with the rapid evolution of electronics and affordable access to high-end display and technologies, the Southern California-based company has tipped its hat that it is busy developing digital eyeglasses along the lines of Google’s yet-to-be-released Glass.
“We now have our sights set on three key innovation pillars,” explains Baden. “Enhanced Vision, Digital Eyewear and Customization. This is the beginning of a new era of brave design and disruptive technologies from Oakley.”
Exact details of what Oakley’s team of mad scientists are working on is still hush-hush, but it showed off its latest optical technologies by presenting an short three-dimensional video, narrated by actor and two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey.
In the sense-stimulating video, designers spoke about their goals to better tailor products to customers and discussed exciting new technologies that will allow information to be displayed on a lens. It also showcased the re-release of its classic and sports-oriented Eyeshade, which road cyclist, Greg Lamond wore during his 1986 Tour de France victory.