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Epson Moverio BT-200 Augmented Reality Glasses Review

The Competition And Technical Specifications

By way of background, I have tried the Oculus Rift DK2. And one Tom's Hardware editor owns a unit, so you'll start to read about our experiences with that shortly. It is vastly unfair to compare Epson's Moverio to those immersive VR headsets, since the experiences and purpose are quite different. I also have a very rudimentary prototype of a VR headset from vrAse (pictured below), which relies on a smartphone inserted into the headset (in this case, a Samsung Galaxy S5), and is, at least at this point, more appropriate for immersive and projected entertainment -- these are not commercially available.

And I have spent extensive time talking with Vuzix about its next developments, which will be displayed at CES in January. Vuzix stands out for a few reasons. First, it will use waveguide optics, which allows the company to use the lenses of the glasses as the display. Just like waveguides for, say, radio waves, Vuzix uses the scheme for guiding light, bouncing it along the nano-etched surface of the glass, where the light escapes in a controlled manner. No projections. The glass is the display. The lenses can be thin (1.4mm) and light, they can be darkened electronically so as to create a more immersive experience.

Recently, Lenovo announced a partnership whereby the company would co-brand Vuzix-powered glasses. It is an exclusive one-year agreement in China. Lenovo is developing applications for the glasses, and Vuzix will have access to them. Above and below are two concept photos, the first being a model for what the next version of the Vuzix glasses will look like, and the second is a hologram image as seen using waveguide optics.

Back to Epson and the Moverio. Below is a reminder about some of the specifications of the Moverio 200 AR glasses. On the following page, I'll provide a walk through of some of the applications, including a few video snippets that I hope will give you a small sense of what the actual applications look and feel like.

Optical
LCD Driving MethodPoly-silicon TFT active matrix
LCD size0.42-inch-wide panel (16:9)
LCD Pixel Number518,400 dots (960x540) x 3
Field of ViewApprox. 23 °
Screen Size (Projected Distance)40 inches at 2.5m - 320 inches at 20m
Color Reproduction24-bit color (16.77 million colors)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Android Platform
OS TypeAndroid 4.04
OS Updatevia network
Installed ApplicationsSEViewer, Moverio Apps Market, Moverio Air, Moverio Mirror (for Wi-Fi Miracast)
Sensors
CameraVGA
GPSYes, in Controller
CompassYes, in both Headset and Controller
GyroscopeYes, in both Headset and Controller
AccelerometerYes, in both Headset and Controller
MicrophoneYes
Connectivity
Wireless LANIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth3.0
microUSBUSB 2.0
CPU And Memory
CPUTI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core
RAM1GB
Internal Memory8GB
External MemoryMicroSD (max. 2GB), MicroSDHC (max. 32GB)
User Interface
Function KeyHome, Menu, Back, Function (Brightness, 2D/3D), Volume (+/-), Power (lock), Reset
Touch pad Pointing methodCapacitive Multi-touch
Supported File Formats
VideoMP4 (MPEG4+AAC / Dolby Digital Plus), MPEG2 (H.264+AAC / Dolby Digital Plus)
AudioAAC, MP3, WAV, Dolby Digital Plus
3D supportsSide By Side
Sound Output
SurroundYes, Dolby Digital Plus
General
Operating Temperature5° C - 35° C, 41° F - 95° F, 20% - 80% Humidity
Power Supply Voltage: AC adapter100V - 240V AC +/- 10%, 50Hz/60 Hz, with MicroUSB cable
Battery Life6 hrs (Video mode with Android at 25°)
Battery TypeLi-Polymer 2720mAh
Dimensions: Head set170mm x 185mm x 32mm (D x W x H) (without light shielding)
Dimensions: Controller120mm x 55mm x 19mm (D x W x H)
Weight Headset88g (without light Shielding / without harness)
Power Supply Voltage Controller5V, 900mA via microUSB terminal
Weight Controller124g
What's in the boxAC adapter, carrying case, ear hook, inner frame for optical lenses, ntraauricular earphone with microphone, quick Setup Guide, shade x2 (light and dark), USB cable, user manual (CD-ROM)
  • usertests
    If I buy into AR glasses, it would be what Vuzix is doing, with the entire lenses as a display, or with an image projected directly onto the retina. AR apps that can cover your entire FOV are more useful, and Google Glass's corner display causes eye strain.
    Reply
  • qlum
    In other words this may be released but its still a proof of concept far away from any practical use.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    I want an app for these that would show a realtime map centered around my location in the upper right corner, like the minimap from WoW, and show me pop up names for people I work with over their heads so I can be reminded of people's names.
    Reply
  • AR Dirt
    You may be interested in the only Podcast dedicated to the world of AR.  Go to www.ARdirt.com/ourapp to learn how to download the podcast app for free.  You can get it on iOS, Google Play, Amazon App store and Windows phones.
    Reply