2004 | FH Joanneum
SBLINE is a user-centered navigation aid for snowboarders.
Based on an augmented reality (AR) head up display the goggles link needed information to the user’s point of view.
SBLINE shows alternative routes as well as zones of dangers, First Aid, etc. on the go, which reduces potential risks (avalanches, ... )and enhances the fun.
The asymmetric shape reflects the technology as well as lifestyle and fashion.
Navigation in the mountains is difficult, especially in the backcountry/offpist during the winter. It requires a lot of knowledge and skill to link reality with a 2 dimensional map.
Not to mention the clumsy fingers and daily changing snow conditions.
And it can be dangerous of course. Mainly because of the rising risk of avalanches when one stops in order to grasp the map.
Therefore the idea was to design goggles that keep you updated about your route, dangerous areas, etc. while you're on the way.
Therefore, SBLINE is completely based on its navigation concept.
It takes advantage of the fact that mountains have a vertical dimension. It’s therefore much easier to actually see where you have to go than to figure it out on a standard map.
That was the starting point of a "point of view" related product.
Technology and Inspiration
Hats, shades, fashion, VR goggles, AR technology, safety goggles, SciFi Movies ... had a major influence on the process and the final product.
Perhaps the most obvious difference to conventional Goggles is the asymmetric shape.
It refers to the monocular technology but was also used to communicate the uniqueness of the product.
I started with a sketch phase exploring asymmetry in human faces.
A couple dozen sketches on pictures led to a shape that was strongly influenced by fashion and lifestyle.
Based upon the key sketch to the right I started to build several versions in Solid Works based on a 3D scan of my head.
Due to the delicate shapes, fragile structure and the existing 3D data I decided to use an ABS rapid prototyping machine to bring SBLINE to life.