Runners will have a new way to stay motivated come next year as Ghost Pacer’s augmented reality glasses will allow them to run alongside virtual partners. Similar to ghosts times seen in racing video games, runners can challenge themselves to match a partner’s time and keep pace with them. Thanks to the augmented reality tech in the specialized glasses, runners will get to see the virtual partner running outdoors rather than just trying to beat a time, the goal is to inspire runners as if they were racing a real person.
Ghost Pacer was designed with the philosophy that running with others helps you perform better, which has been demonstrated in studies. Since it can be difficult to coordinate runs with others, especially during a time of social distancing, these glasses will give a great alternative to solo runners. The glasses are currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter and have smashed the initial crowdfunding goal of $25,000. At the time of writing, they have raised 87,475 with 21 days to go. Rather than paying the expected MSRP of $349, people can get in early and pay only $149.
“Designing a useful mixed reality experience and fitting it into a streamlined pair of glasses was not easy,” Ghost Pacer CEO AR Bhatti explains. “Years went into developing and compressing what started as five pounds of hardware and optics into a sleek pair of glasses that wouldn’t weigh runners down. But today, after thousands of hours of work, the results speak for themselves: The Ghost Pacer remains the only headset in the world with its mixed reality capabilities that is still light enough to wear while running.”
For $50 more, the company will offer Ghost Pacer Pro glasses, which gives runners even more functionality and access to a smartphone and smartwatch app. Users can use the app to create customized workouts and partners, and integrate their heart rate with the glasses. It uses the Vimazi RunCrush app to give users suggested workouts and routes that will help users hit their fitness goals. Meanwhile, monitoring your heart rate will ensure that the virtual partner never pushes you too hard and that your heart rate and exertion levels are always at the optimal range.
While the glasses can be used to go up against tailored runners, you can also face off against your real-life friends as well. They are able to use the mobile app to upload their route and speed from a previous workout that you can then compete against for bragging rights.
As mentioned above, the Ghost Pacer glasses has smashed its initial goal and is now looking to clear some stretch goals. If it passes $100,000 raised there will be 10 additional avatar options that users can race against. Meanwhile, $250,000 will see an additional glasses color introduced other than the black and white that are currently offered. Finally, real time racing between smartphone users will be added if it hits $500,000.
The Ghost Pacer glasses have been in development since 2017. The mobile app was developed earlier this year prior to the Kickstarter campaign and they will start hardware and user interface optimization next month. They plan to start mass production early next year and begin shipping out glasses by July 2021. Delays are common with Kickstarters, though, so don’t be surprised if it takes slightly longer than thought, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For even more information on the augmented reality running glasses, check out the Kickstarter page.