The average business owner probably recognizes Epson for its printers or even its projectors, not the futuristic AR wearables.
Still, it’s Epson’s experience with projection technology that has enabled the company to compete in the corporate-grade smartglasses game, with the latest models in the Moverio smartglasses line delivering noticeable improvements in display capabilities.
The latest model, the Moverio BT-40, is a standalone device that connects to a smartphone, tablet or PC via USB-C connection and costs $ 579. Its brother, the Moverio BT-40S, comes with a touchscreen controller that runs on Android and costs $ 999.
Aside from the controller, the devices are essentially the same specs, with the screen enhancements leading the way. The BT-40 series delivers dual Si-OLED displays with a resolution of 1
The predecessor device, the Moverio BT-35E, has a 720p screen with a viewing angle of 23 degrees, or the equivalent of an 80-inch screen at a distance of 5 meters. (Incidentally, Epson has discounted the BT-35E by $ 100 to $ 799.)
“With over 10 years of experience in the AR market and a long history in the projector segment – with high-quality optical engines and flawless color production – Epson brings that same legacy to these next generation Moverio smart glasses,” said Remi Del Mar, senior digital product manager. experiences, augmented reality and commercial display solutions at Epson America, in a statement. “These new Moverio models bring advanced image quality in a binocular display with enhanced comfort and portability to the fast-growing markets where we see growing AR adoption, including industrial field service and front-line applications such as remote assistance and accessibility use cases. in this area, we look forward to seeing these new smart glasses implemented by customers. “
Epson has also designed the BT-40 series for comfort. The company switched to softer padding, redistributed the weight of the device across the temples of the frame, and added a spring mechanism to flex to fit different head sizes.
While the BT-40 is suitable for businesses, the BT-40S and its linked controller provide flexibility for organizations that need to supply their users with devices. Essentially a smartphone without a cellular radio, the BO-IC400 controller is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 processor designed for tethered smartglasses and runs a modified version of Android 9.0 with access to Google Play for apps.
The controller is about the size of a deck of playing cards and includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a 13-megapixel camera with autofocus, flashlight, noise-canceling microphone and an audio jack, along with the typical array of mobile sensors (compass, accelerometer and gyroscope). The controller’s battery only lasts for five hours, but I suppose that’s enough for lunch before you need to recharge.
The BO-IC400 offers some additional benefits in addition to your typical smartphone with the Moverio Link Pro app, which enables four user interface modes. Mirroring Mode casts the controller’s touchscreen to the smartglasses display, while enhanced mode renders the active app on the smartglasses and the controller home screen on the touchscreen. The controller also offers trackpad and cross-key modes for cursor-based interactions between the controller and the smartglasses.
With the BT-40 series, Epson is targeting the same similar industries that Google, Vuzix and Lenovo (all of which have also adopted Snapdragon XR1 for their smartglasses), with the Moverio Assist platform pursuing workflow instructions and remote assistance. In addition, Epson has set its sights on tourism and entertainment, including AR-enhanced tours of museums and help with subtitles in theaters (where the BO-IC400 comes in handy when lending to customers).
Interestingly, a spokesperson for Epson told Next Reality during a briefing ahead of the product announcements that the company is no longer aggressive with the drone market, although the company expects enthusiasts to continue pairing Moverio devices with their drones.