By Andrew Karp
Ski goggles are some of the most technologically advanced eyewear available, and
Zeal Optics has established itself as a front runner in the field. The Colorado company has attracted the attention of tech savvy outdoor enthusiasts with products like the Z3 GPS Live, which is equipped with the Recon MOD Live GPS System. The Bluetooth-enabled device, which retails for $599, features a 16:9 widescreen in-goggle view-finder display on which wearers can track speed, altitude, GPS, jump stats, temperature, distance, run count and chrono measurements. Smartphone connectivity enables caller ID, text messages, buddy tracking, trail maps and navigation.
Zeal’s newest offering is the HD Camera goggle, which was recently upgraded so it can shoot 1080P high definition video and 8MP photos. The sleekly designed unit, which retails for $399, also boasts such goodies as a temperature gauge and more filming options such as shooting at 120 frames per second in addition to the current 30 and 60. There is an updated graphic user interface for the heads up display and an additional black and blaze color way. Other features include a 170-degree wide angle lens, instant replay, and a built-in microphone.
In an exclusive interview with Eye2, Zeal Optics president John Sanchez offered his perspective on why the HD Camera goggle is being increasingly popular not only with skiers, but with other types of outdoor enthusiasts as well.
Eye2: What features of the HD Camera goggle are customers finding most useful?
John Sanchez: Video, video, video is all we keep hearing about. The ability to capture their outdoor experiences and the experiences of their peers in the vicinity has certainly taken to consumers.
Eye2: To what extent are customers uploading their videos to social networking sites?
JS: Approximately 100 videos get sent to us a week. We have prizes and awards so consumers tend to want to share their wonderful experiences. The Zeal community is a group of people who are all excited to share and view these great moments around the world. We are finding many who have thanked us as some videos have inspired them to visit a destination or location that was captured on the Zeal HD Camera goggle.
Eye2: Is the HD Camera goggle being primarily sold through sports/ski shops, optical retail stores, independent eyecare practices, or online?
JS: Yes, all of the above. We are an optics company first and foremost. We have built the supply chain to supply our core customers first. We do not supply to Best Buy or any of the mass market retailers because we want to be sure our core consumers can get the product and be a part of the Zeal community. We have so much content for the brand that it's important the purchase experience is one that has consumers feeling as though they get not only how to use the product but how to be a part of the Zeal brand.
Eye2: What is the target demographic for this product?
JS: We do not market to a demographical age. We market to an interest. Zeal is for anyone that seeks outdoor experiences, regardless of age. This product is for the 15 year-old who wants to capture his first black diamond ride or for a 65-year-old grandmother who wants to capture her granddaughter's first ride down the magic carpet. The product has been used by mountain bikers, moto riders, climbers, sky divers, nordic skiers, and jumpers to name a few. The goal is to live your life and be able to reflect back on the wonderful experiences you have taken in, and then take it one step further by sharing those moments with others.
Click on the video below to see the HD Camera goggle in action.
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