The company that spent years bringing you printers, ink, paper is now challenging Google with their own smart eyeglass product. Meet the Epson Moverio BT-200. These smart glasses are $699.99, less than half of Google's $1,500 Glass. And unlike the more widely hyped Glass, Epson's entry is already on sale to the public.
While it looks like Google Glass, Moverio works more like Oculus Rift. It offers a 360-degree panoramic views when using third-party software. Each lens has its own 960x540 display that makes these small glasses ideal for Augmented Reality apps. The Moverio virtual screen is double the size of the Glass screen.
Moverio boasts other familiar features: a memory slot, Bluetooth, Android apps, a front facing camera, motion tracker, and 3D-image visibility. You can adjust the lens for prescriptions and sun shading as desired.
Thus far, the apps available are more business oriented, and Epson is working with developers to create more variety. They are pitching it as more of an on-the-job tool, than an always-on assistant that you take everywhere.
Though it has its benefits over Glass (like cost), the biggest drawback is the handheld controller. The glasses are not wireless, but connected by a cable to a controller with a trackpad. While the controller is sleek enough on its own, it's a clunky combination to use in practice. There's also the problem of looking, well ... really weird with this contraption on your head. Glass's fashion problems have nothing on these much bulkier goggles.
Though Epson is known for more traditional hardware products, this is not their only step into wearable tech. They also introduced the PS-100 and PS-500 fitness band and watch at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.
See it in action here:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.