Epson has a new pair of augmented reality glasses on the market, and although they are not designed for everyday use, they are still supposed to be more convenient than their predecessors. The Moverio BT-30C glasses connect to an Android smartphone or Windows PC through USB-C, unlike previous Epson Moverio products, which were connected to a custom Android control box. They cost $ 499 and will be sent in June of this year.
Moverio is a relatively old augmented reality brand; his BT-100 glasses were launched in 2011, before Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens. The glasses BT-30C can not go through the normal glasses, they are thick and still weigh 95 grams. Nor are they as technically sophisticated as HoloLens or Magic Leap One, which project semi-realistic images in real space. The glasses essentially fix screens in the air and allow you to control them with a phone.
In my brief demonstration, however, they perform this task well. I obtained a clear and bright image, although with the field of vision restrictions that I am accustomed to find in the AR headphones. (The glasses have a FOV of 23 degrees, which is small even for those standards). The BT-30C also seems to have better adjustment options for small heads than the old Epson glasses, which slid directly from my face.
And they not only project a single application. You can load three applications on three different screens, alternating between them by turning your head, so you can put a web browser on one side, see Hulu on the other and … load a spreadsheet on the third, maybe? Look, this is not a product that I'll buy soon. And Epson is prepared for that reaction.
Epson Moverio product manager Eric Mizufuka still does not see RA as a mass market industry, and Epson is not Do not trust in widespread adoption in the next three to five years. Like many AR manufacturers, he sells many of his glasses to companies, which use them as hands-free computing devices for workers. But it is also pressed to reach a wider audience. His glasses are popular with drones enthusiasts, who use them to watch a point-of-view video to fly. The National Theater of London allows customers with hearing loss to reserve a pair of Epson Moverio glasses, which project subtitles for the works. Even if people do not buy glasses personally, they can find them in a theater or on a guided tour of the museum.
Now, Mizufuka says that Epson wants to "put its foot in the door" of the consumer markets with the BT-30C glasses. It is being released to people who want a portable, private screen that runs on a family phone or PC. And it's offering them at a cheaper price than existing products like the BT-300, which costs $ 699. That still does not make the BT-30C glasses a general-purpose product, but it could definitely make them a little more attractive for the average person. It could also provide a preview of how other companies will approach the AR consumer, a field that Apple, Google, Facebook and many other technological giants see as the future of computing.