Epson, the company that gained their fame in the printer space, has announced the second generation of their prototype smart glasses. They’re being called the Moverio BT-200, and they’re not cheap. A whopping $700 is the starting point, though it’s worth noting that’s still less than half the cost of Google Glass’s current price tag.
Like Google Glass, the Moverio BT-200 is currently being targeted at enthusiasts, early adopters and developers, as well as those in professional fields where the glasses could improve workflow.
It features your standard augmented reality-centric features such as a front-facing camera, a gyroscope and other motion sensors, and GPS. For projecting the image it uses two micro projectors — one on each side of the unit — to give users an overlay in front of whatever transparent lenses they’re using.
Moverio mentions that the controller unit — that is, the phone-shaped device that attaches to the glasses — runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Not the latest piece of kit out there, but we imagine it will get the job down for most folks’ needs.
The latest controller unit also features Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, so you can hook it up with your smartphone or tablet and pass data back and forth. The controller unit is what you use for your trackpad and navigation around the UI of the BT-200. It might be a tad cumbersome compared to the built-in solution like what’s featured on Google Glass, but anyone thinking of using these likely aren’t too concerned with how stylish they look.
The device ships with two shades to pop on top of the clear shade installed by default. Also worthy to note is that the BT-200 comes with a prescription lens insert. The previous model was built to fit on top of any pair of glasses, but in order to shave the size of the current model down they had to ditch that particular perk. We’re sure many folks won’t be fans of the thought of having to buy another pair of expensive lenses for these, but the option is there if you need it.
It’s unlikely that the BT-200 will unseat Google Glass when it comes to providing a more attractive and consumer-friendly product, but it should be able to find a nice, cozy spot in niche circles and enterprise.
Luckily there’s no wait for this thing if you want it, and no annoying invite system to worry about: it’s ready and waiting for you at Epson’s site or PreLaunch. The video walkthrough of this interesting piece of tech is sitting up above so carve out a quick few minutes and take a look.
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