Recon Instrument’s Li Chen Augments Skiers' Reality with Heads Up Displays

Li Chen turns ordinary sports goggles into digital dashboards

4 min read
Li Chen
Li Chen IEEE Member Age 30 What he does Augments reality for sports enthusiasts. For whom Recon Instruments Where he does it Vancouver, B.C., Canada Fun Factor Gets to say, “I did it before Google!”
Photo: David Ellingsen

Hanging in the lobby at Recon Instruments is a framed postcard from Mischo Erban, who last year clocked the fastest standing longboard run ever: 129.94 kilometers per hour—over 80 miles per hour.

Recon doesn’t typically receive thank-you notes from extreme skateboarders like Erban—the company primarily sells its high-tech goggles to skiers. The eyewear projects real-time data (such as speed, location, jump airtime, and text messages) onto a microdisplay, providing the person wearing them with a virtual dashboard that appears to hover 1.5 meters in front of the lenses. The Vancouver, B.C., Canada, start-up pioneered these augmented-reality goggles years before Google debuted its much-touted head-mounted display, Google Glass.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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New AI Speeds Computer Graphics by Up to 5x

Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.


On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

This impressive feat is currently limited to a few dozen 3D games, but it’s a hint at the gains neural rendering will soon deliver. The technique will unlock new potential in everyday consumer electronics.

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Get the Coursera Campus Skills Report 2022

Download the report to learn which job skills students need to build high-growth careers

1 min read

Get comprehensive insights into higher education skill trends based on data from 3.8M registered learners on Coursera, and learn clear steps you can take to ensure your institution's engineering curriculum is aligned with the needs of the current and future job market. Download the report now!