Epson Moverio glasses are perfect for a developer who wants to play with augmented reality. Although the glasses are not really a consumer product (seems like an experimental platform) they can be used in industry, museums or even for entertainment.
The headset is not a very light device and you may find them uncomfortable if you are using them for a long time. The glasses come with two removable filters, one lighter and one much darker, so you can swap with the lighter filter if you want to see the projected display more brighter and more immersive.
The controller has a large touchpad and an indicator light and standard Android buttons (Home, Menu and Back). On the top edge we have a slider used to Power on / off the device. On the left edge we have a Mute button and a microSD card slot. On the right, we have a micro USB port and buttons for volume up / down. The controller is basically like a smartphone, but without a screen.
Epson Moverio has two parts: the glasses and the controller. Inside the controller we have an Android 4.0.4 that runs on a 1,2 GHz dual-core CPU with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB internal storage. If that isn’t enough, the storage can be upgraded with another 2GB using a microSD card, or up to 32 GB with microSDHC. The controller has a textured touchpad which you can use to move a cursor around the screen. The touchpad supports also basic multitouch gestures and gives you more control on the device.
The battery is made from Li-Polymer at 2720 mAh and it can last 6 hours.
Moverio glasses have many sensors that can be used to track head movements, position and orientation, like compass, gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS.
The display is not bad at all (at least, is much better and bigger than on Google Glass). The glasses project a 960 x 540 resolution picture over each eye and it works in 2D or 3D mode.
The camera can be used for barcode scanning, object recognition and to support augmented reality applications. The camera is not intended to be used to make pictures, because it has a VGA resolution and the quality is not too good.
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream content, check email and browse the Internet. It supports Wi-Fi Direct or it can be connected through a USB cable to a computer.
If you are an Android user, you will be very familiar with it. The glasses come with a standard looking version of Android 4.0.4. Google Play services are not available on this device, but you can download and install apps from Epson store.
If you are an Android developer, Epson provides an SDK that allows you to control BT-200’s display, audio and sensors.
The SDK has only three classes: AudioControl, DisplayControl, SensorControl packed in one library. This library enables Android Apps to control BT-200’s display, audio and sensors. You can control 2D/3D switching, turn on / off display or you can switch between sensors (located in headset or in the controller). BT-200 has 9 axis sensor set (Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass) on both the controller and headset. You can program to choose which sensor set to use.
Unfortunately it doesn’t have any SDK for augmented reality, but you can use any framework that runs on Android, like Metaio or Wikitude.
- Big screen.
- Decent battery life.
- Is not Google Play compatible.
- Low-end hardware comparing with the actual hardware on smartphones.
Epson Moverio BT-200 is excellent as an entertainment device and it does exactly what is supposed to do. You can play AR games, watch movies and browse the Internet.
Even if the smart glasses haven’t found their place yet, Moverio BT-200 is unquestionably a pair of high-tech glasses. Moverio BT-200 is probably the most inspiring product I have seen in the world of augmented reality.