Oak­ley Radar Pace

JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE SEEN ALL THE FITNESS TECH THERE IS, ALONG COMES OAK­LEY’S TRAIN­ING SHADES

Australian T3 - - SELECT -

Oak­leys seem to be the go-to for semi-se­ri­ous ath­letes, renowned as they are for be­ing pricey, slick and prob­a­bly slightly un­nec­es­sary. Its lat­est shades, though un­sur­pris­ingly costly, are more than just eye de­fend­ers – they’re also smart, with a voice­ac­ti­vated coach within the frame. Radar Pace is aimed squarely at run­ners and cy­clists look­ing to bet­ter their per­for­mance, but it’s more than just a stats ma­chine. Radar Pace de­liv­ers a range of fitness met­rics, much like you’d get from a cy­cling com­puter or fitness watch, but cru­cially, it’s a train­ing com­pan­ion too, thanks to built-in train­ing pro­grams de­signed to help you achieve your goals.

Once you’ve in­put things like your fitness level and what you’re look­ing to achieve, Radar Pace will tai­lor a sched­ule for you. If you miss a train­ing day, it will sim­ply ad­just your plan to suit. For less hard­core runs or rides, there’s a Freeform op­tion, so you can just go out and en­joy your­self and get data feed­back with­out the regime.

Just say ‘OK Radar’ and you’ll ac­ti­vate the Siri-like voice as­sis­tant, ready to take your every train­ing re­quest. Want to find out your cur­rent speed or heart rate? Just ask and Radar Pace will tell you. The built-in in-ear head­phones, which are three-way ad­justable, de­liver the info straight to your eardrums.

Radar Pace can pair with ex­ter­nal sen­sors such as heart-rate mon­i­tors, en­abling it to get the met­rics it needs to max­imise your train­ing.

Aside from the oc­ca­sional Blue­tooth in­ter­fer­ence, the voice sys­tem is near flaw­less. The is­sue is that the mic can get over­whelmed with wind noise at high speed. An aero clip-on helps, but at 30km/h you have to shout to be heard, and even then it can mis­hear you.

While you ex­er­cise, Radar Pace will reg­u­larly give you feed­back on your per­for­mance with­out ever be­ing in­tru­sive, spurring you on when you’re be­hind or telling you to ease up if, for in­stance, you’re ped­alling too fast for your spe­cific train­ing pro­gram.

Cu­ri­ously, Radar Pace drops voice in favour of a touch­pad in­te­grated into the frame for con­trol­ling the three main non-train­ing func­tions: phone, mu­sic and vol­ume. A long press of the pad ac­ti­vates Siri or Google Now, giv­ing you ac­cess to your phone’s plethora of voice com­mands, but with so many dif­fer­ent in­ter­face op­tions Radar Pace feels a lit­tle clunky to use when you’re in the thick of things.

Tech nu­ances aside, the Radar Pace glasses are, as you might ex­pect from Oak­ley, won­der­ful things to wear – com­fort­able, with great vi­sion and epic build qual­ity.

On its own, Radar Pace is a great tool for train­ing, al­low­ing you to im­prove your fitness with­out hav­ing to for­mu­late your own com­pli­cated train­ing plan, but if you’re al­ready a stats-heavy user you might want to pair it with a sec­ond screen for in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion.

ABOVE They look like reg­u­lar Oak­leys but nes­tled in­side that slick­look­ing frame is a load of smarts to help sports fans ABOVE RIGHT A touch­pad built into the frame gives you ac­cess to Radar Pace’s life­style func­tions

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