Epson presents Moverio BT-100

A multimedia device that's more for educational and business use

A 320-inch screen measuring about 7 meters (width) by 4 (height). How can you carry it? By putting it inside a pair of glasses. No, it's not a joke or science fiction. It's Epson's "visor eyewear", the Moverio BT-100. Neither is it the Project Glass unveiled by Google, but a real product. The eyewear (which is fairly big and weighing in at 240 grams it's not exactly light and tends to slide down your nose) has two LCD pico projectors in the temples that send images to two 0.52-inch screens in front of the eyes. The perceived effect is an enormous display of about 320 inches seen from a (virtual) distance of 7 meters.


Because the visor is transparent, the image is projected onto the actual environment, which shouldn't be too bright. Alternatively (outdoors), transparent dark lenses can be added to increase contrast. The display is also 3D: the three dimensional effect is good, but a certain amount of visual interference is guaranteed. There is too much stimulus from the physical surroundings and 3D video that not everyone enjoys in any case.


Epson Moverio is in fact an Android 2.2 smartphone with Epson's personalized interface. The apps are controlled by a trackpad cable-connected to the eyewear and unfortunately it's not very easy to use: it doesn't have multi-touch and it's not very responsive in general. Connectivity is WI-FI only. To navigate on the go you have to activate a WI-FI hotspot on your smartphone.


This is not so much a multimedia device as one for educational and, primarily, business use. For example, a manager who wants to look at documents in public with maximum privacy: the contents can be seen only by the person wearing the visor. Unfortunately, some aspects make it much more complicated to use. And this is not a product that is aiming for augmented reality, as the Google project should, because no software or apps have been designed specifically for real and virtual integration. Despite everything, this category of device is a glimpse of the future. But the development of something that is really usable and appealing still has a long way to go.



Source: il corriere online