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Can beer boost augmented reality?

New technology could turn beer running into a real-life game.
CATEGORIES: Beer   Beer Runner  


Photo via RideOn Goggles

Sometimes, running is boring. There’s just no way around it.

A long run can be a slog if you don’t have a running partner available, or you’re just sick of your running music mix or podcasts. But could augmented reality change that?

This idea comes from RideOn goggles, which are worn during skiing and turn your world into a version of a video game, tutorial and Google maps combined. Right now, the prototype has raised more than $40,000 in just four days through a crowdfunding campaign, with 26 days remaining.

The “world’s first true augmented reality for snow sports” allows skiers to see and interact with data floating in front of them. It can display directions, take high-definition pictures to share online, create a game and tutorials, and let you compete against your high scores or virtual opponents.

The goggles of skiing and snowboarding make this a good fit. But could it also be applied to running?

If the idea could be applied to a more streamlined wearable–like maybe sports sunglasses–runners may be able to take advantage of the same technology.

Think of the possibilities: You could see your real-time pace and projections of your finish. You could compete against a virtual runner during your training. You could see maps and directions while you’re on backcountry trails, and take photos and videos like a GoPro.

And that’s just the beginning. When you’re bored, you could turn on a beer-running game. I could see something like Super Mario’s stars and mushrooms. You run toward the virtual beer cans ahead of you in your path. Maybe a bomber lets you “power up” during a fartlek, and the music speeds up for the next 30 seconds to push your pace. It could even calculate your favorite beers earned in real time, and notify you each time you’ve burned the equivalent calories to earn one.

I know, this sounds cheesy, a bit ridiculous. Call me crazy. But then again, something similar has raised 40 grand in just a few days.

If you’re skeptical, just picture the ability to see your favorite IPA floating in front of you at mile 17 of your next long run. I can think of no better motivation.


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.

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