These smart shades will beam stats from your Garmin watch in front of your eyes

Sunglasses with MicroOLED ActiveLook
(Image credit: MicroOLED)

The days of glancing down at your wrist to check your running stats might soon be over – possibly. A company called MicroOLED is developing a system that can take info from your Garmin, Suunto, or Apple Watch and beam it straight onto a pair of sunglasses so you can see it right in front of you.

As the5krunner reports, MicroOLED's platform is called ActiveLook, and uses a tiny module that can be fitted to a pair of shades, goggles, or even a motorcycle helmet to provide data in a heads-up display. The information appears with a virtual projection distance of 4m, allowing you to concentrate on the trail ahead rather than focusing on something close to your eyes.

The unit, demonstrated in the video below, will let you choose which data you want to see and display it in real time, with options such as time, distance, speed, elevation gain, power, heart rate, and calories burned.

The ActiveLook unit connects to your watch via Bluetooth, and has a battery life of around 12 hours, after which it needs to be connected to a magnetic charger. It also features an ambient light sensor, which can presumably alter the brightness of the display to suit the ambient conditions (brighter during sunny weather, and dimmer in lower light).

Rather than using buttons or voice controls, ActiveLook is controlled using gestures; a thoughtful feature that means you don't need to touch your glasses or visor, and can use the HUD in noisy environments.

It's always wise to wear a pair of the best trail running sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage, and having stats visible at a glance would make them even more useful. We don't yet know when ActiveLook might actually be available in a product you can buy, but MicroOLED offers an open API for developers, and MapMyRun, Strava, Garmin, Suunto, and Apple all seem to be on board, so we're cautiously optimistic.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.