The Heads-up Display technology that we engineered gives athletes real-time access to performance metrics such as speed and heart rate — right in front of their eyes.
I always wanted to start a company. That’s why I took UBC’s Technology Entrepreneurship, which brought MBA and Applied Science graduate students together. This is where I met Dan Eisenhart, an ex-professional swimmer who initially suggested we commercialize goggles that display lap time, stroke rate and other performance indicators for swimmers.
My job was to figure out how. After technical feasibility and patent reviews, we decided to pivot from swimming to snow sports since the form factor of ski goggles was more amenable to integrating electronics.
After a year of technical due-diligence, prototyping and testing, I was confident that the technology would work. By then, the class team had moved on to different industry positions, but I called them back together. In 2008, we formed Recon Instruments to commercialize smart snow goggles.
As a small start-up team of engineers, we had to be creative. There was no precedent that we could follow. We developed a groundbreaking design that allowed us to fit the smallest android computer into a form factor that was fully functional for use in demanding environments with extreme temperatures, humidity and vibrations.
Many of my colleagues and Recon engineers have benefitted financially from the sale of Recon to Intel and are now investing in smaller start-ups. It is extremely surreal for me to think that something I started is contributing to the growing ecosystem of technology companies in British Columbia.