Epson unveiled the second generation of their Moverio augmented reality smart glasses at CES 2014, and we came away quite impressed. The BT-200 is the successor to the BT-100 that was released about a year and a half ago. Since then, Epson has come a long way in not only the design, but also attracting key developers.
Now the first thing we need to get straight is this is NOT a Google Glass competitor. This isn’t a product that you will wear while you are driving, grocery shopping, or any other like activity. This is meant for your personal time, when you can kick back and play an augmented reality game or watch a movie. It can also be used for certain business applications.
This version of the Moverio is lighter and sleaker. It features a dual screen 3D display so the image is seen from both eyes. New in this version is motion sensing and a camera for augmented reality. The display is transparent, but you will also get a darker shade that is removable. For those that need prescription lenses, Epson has you covered with an insert.
It has Android 4.0 onboard and looks very much like stock. Navigation and control of apps is done with a wired controller that kind of looks like a phone. Although the controller is important for easier input and gesturing, we would have preferred it to be wireless. The controller includes motion sensors, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and a micro SD slot for expanded storage. It also has Miracast built in so you can mirror what you see in your glasses, plus it will also accept video from other Miracast devices. That’s important because you could mirror videos or pictures from your smartphone to the Moverio.
The key to the Moverio is the development community, and Epson has attracted some key players. They had about 5 or 6 of them onsite at their CES booth as you will see in the video below. A couple of notables were Metaio, one of the leaders in augmented reality, and Sean McCracken, who developed a game called Psyclops for Google Glass (now ported to the Moverio). He also has another game called Sky Temple in the works, which looks fantastic. Both of his games are gyro-based and you really feel as if you are right in the middle of the game. Think Oculus Rift without all the bulk. In talking with Sean, he agreed that the Moverio is more suited for gaming than Google Glass because of the larger visual display and the controller.
Epson expects the Moverio BT-200 to be available in March for $699 and you can pre-order now from the source link below. The price seems a little steep, but I will wait until the spring when I am able to review it until I give my final judgement.
Below, you will find our hands on video showing you some of the applications and games that are in development. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Be sure to check out our complete CES 2014 coverage here.
More Info and/or to pre-order: Epson Moverio BT-200