Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Epson Tries to One-up Google Glass with Moverio-Goggles (Video) 65

Posted by timothy
from the it's-stereo-so-you-can-see-everything-twice dept.
In the world of head-worn displays, Google Glass seems to lately get most of the praise as well as most of the dirty looks, though it's far from alone. At this year's DroidCon in London, I talked with Epson Europe product manager Marc-Antoine Godfroid about a very different kind of head-worn display: the Moverio BT-100. Epson's display is running a Google operating system, but it isn't competing with Glass, at least not directly. The hardware in this case is a relatively high-definition stereo display meant for immersion (whether that means information overlays or watching recorded video) hooked to an external control unit running Android, rather than the sparer, information-dashboard, all-in-one approach of Glass. One other big difference: Epson's stereo, full-color headset is cheaper than Glass, and available now. Hit the link below to see what it looks like.

Marc-Antoine: So this is the Epson Moverio BT-100, which is a binocular see-through display. So here we have a dark shade, but actually the display, as you can see, is totally transparent. So the principle is that we have two projectors in this side of the unit that projects an image _____00:19 that you can find in the transparent parts and this image is reflected to the user eyes via these two semi-reflective mirrors that we have just in front of the eyes.

So basically this mirror is going to reflect the image creatively on this side of the device. But you can still see through the mirror, so ambient light can go through the display and this is why you can still see through the see-through display of the product. So when you wear Moverio, you will see a huge 80-inch display floating right in front of your eyes. So the display resolution is quarter of HD, so 960 x 540.

Tim: One in each eye?

Marc-Antoine: Sorry?

Tim: In each eye, it’s the same as this one?

Marc-Antoine: Any?

Tim: In each eye?

Interviewer: Oh yes, exactly, yeah, yeah, totally, because basically we are going to project three images that is in front of you is going to be only one screen, so one huge screen. And so on this display, it is powered by the pocket-held controller here that is running Android. So basically inside you have the battery and the CPU. This is where you have the Wi-Fi module. So this is how you operate the unit as well. So you have a check pad here for tactile control. So basically it is a really familiar user interface. Basically if you know to use a smartphone or a tablet, you will know how to use this product.

Tim: It is very different from using a typical tablet?

Marc-Antoine: Yeah, but this form factor is really different and this is where the innovation is. So the good thing is that basically this product is totally hands-free because when you wear it, so you have this display fitting here and you don’t have to hold your device to see what is going on. So this is really, really interesting for many applications.

So first this product, it’s a really a good entertainment device. So the good thing versus smartphone and tablet is that the display is really bigger. It’s like a smartphone is between 5 inch now; a tablet is around 7 inch to 10 inch; here you see an 80-inch screen from 5 meters, and the farther you look, the bigger the image looks. So basically if you look at 20 meters away, the display will look like 320-inch screen. So like a cinema screen. It is really amazing. And the good thing as well is that since you have your hands free, like I was saying, you can really enjoy your content in any position, like for instance, watching a movie, playing video game and watching on the roof.

Tim: What sort of input devices are there actually integrated with the device? Is there camera?

Marc-Antoine: No, no, no. The product doesn’t have a camera.

Tim: But it does have motion sensors?

Marc-Antoine: Neither. No, no, no. The _____03:20 version of the Moverio BT-100 doesn’t fit your camera or motion sensors. But we are offering a NavBot for developers if they are interested to start evaluating this kind of features, so they can easily connect that development platform and add a camera to this product to see where the technology is going because this device is very interesting for entertainment, but the magic comes from the application which can be for the device. So basically this is a standout Android device, developers can use the classic Android SDK to build application, so it is really easy for them to develop the application but they can take advantage of the amazing see-through display we have created with the product.

Tim: Can you talk about why it is running in Android 2.2?

Marc-Antoine: Yeah, because the product was launched in late 2011, so Epson has been really innovative with the technology because it is quite a long time ago now already while variable displays and variable technology _____04:20 all around but we have been really one of the first mover on the market and this is a very complex technology, so we are working out to make it smaller, lighter and to improve its features. But it takes time. So at the moment, it is still running Android 2.2, but like I said, developers can still really start developing application easily and also they can use this video input ball to see what they could do with the device.

Tim: There are a lot of applications that run on 2.2.

Marc-Antoine: Yeah, exactly.

Tim: Pretty big library.

Marc-Antoine: Exactly. Exactly. Really we have some people that have been doing already some great things. So for instance _____05:02 we are showcasing a museum application running directly on Android 2.2 and showing a little bit how this kind of product and especially ours can really disrupt all the industries that we know today talking about that might have already been disrupted by smartphones and tablets, because of the form factor and the fact that it is hands-free and you have this display. You can really imagine many, many applications, so whatever it’s for, entertainment, gaming, museums, education, architecture, whatever you think of, you can really find an application. But it’s really more suited for this kind of display which is much more natural way to consume information and content.

Tim: By putting the battery and the CPU, I guess, in a box like this, that means you have more space to put energy storage, how long can you actually be able to use the device?

Marc-Antoine: So we have a really good battery life of six hours. So we can really support in terms of usage and it is really important for this kind of product whose aim is really to remain wireless and to allow you to enjoy your content anytime anywhere and also really important to have this big battery life, especially also because people come up with really great idea about augmented reality thanks to the see-through display that we are offering, which is really a natural platform for this technology because we have this big display just in front of your eyes. And you can make it transparent. So basically you can just see the wall through the transparent lenses of the product and just overlay this additional information, this additional _____06:43 really a good platform for augmented reality and as it is really the next wave in apps development, so we are waiting for developers to really start thinking of how they can port the application on this kind of product and especially on ours.

Tim: How much does it cost to get started?

Marc-Antoine: So, the product goes for £429 or €499 depending on where you live. So it is a really competitive price because we are the only company in the world that are offering this bigger clarity display at this price. You can try other products but they cost €1000. So it is really amazing what our engineers did with the product.

Tim: And for being binocularly colored and adaptable to lot of circumstances, it seems like it is a pretty good price for the device.

Marc-Antoine: Yeah, yeah, it is. We really think it’s really interesting, so many people can afford it and many people can benefit from these features, so we are really excited by this product. As we said, we are working on the future, so we expect really to see some really cool things from Epson and this is really an amazing product.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Epson Tries to One-up Google Glass with Moverio-Goggles (Video)

Comments Filter:

When all else fails, read the instructions.

Working...