Transforming paintball and making our mark at CES

Blog: Insights and Commentary – Tom Fowler


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This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was one of our best. On Wednesday, we and Empire Paintball introduced the world’s first smart paintball mask, the Empire EVS. This product took social media and the press by storm—and by Friday, it had won Engadget’s Best of CES award for the wearable category.

It’s not hard to see why the Empire EVS generated such enthusiasm. It’s a real game-changer for the paintball world. It has the potential to transform the way people experience the sport in a big way.

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That’s because the Empire EVS combines a state-of-the-art mask design with our Snow2 heads-up display. This combination allows paintballers to access real-time tactical data like ammunition counts, field maps, and teammate locations with a quick glance. The result is an experience straight out of video games, with a level of situational awareness and tactical effectiveness that was previously unthinkable.

As exciting as the Empire EVS is for paintballers, it’s perhaps even more exciting for developers. Using our open Recon SDK, anyone can write software for Snow2 and bring the benefits of smart eyewear to completely new markets and use cases. That’s exactly what the folks at Empire Paintball did, and it’s already had a profound impact. We can’t wait for others to follow in their footsteps.

Tom Fowler oversees Recon's marketing and sales. A former professional triathlete, he remains passionate about endurance sports. In 2014, at age 51, he returned to the triathlon scene and completed Ironman Canada in under 11 hours. Tom is also an avid skier and an accomplished mountaineer.