Epson Australia has launched the latest generation of their Augmented Reality glasses, the Moverio BT-300. The 3rd generation uses silicon-based OLED display technology, enabling a truly transparent display that lets you see the world around you, as well as digital enhancements. Cable-free, unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens, Epson are targeting everyone from consumers to government and business with the Moverio BT-300.
Epson is hoping for mainstream adoption given the wide variety of uses including flying drones, aerial photography and videography, medical surgery, VR learning, AR learning, emergency services response and rescue operations to name a few. Furthermore, there’s also big opportunities for the technology in urban planning, real estate, architecture, engineering, security, media, agriculture management and recreation including gaming, watching movies and AR tours at museums and galleries.
The Moverio BT-300 smartglasses are also used by partners Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and by Manchester United Football Club so the coaches can analyse the players using augmented reality. To see how Manchester United Football Club uses the BT-300 click here – Epson Moverio BT-300 helps coach Manchester United
Epson Australia Consumer Division GM of Sales & Marketing, Bruce Bealby said,
“The Epson Moverio BT-300 are the first real smartglasses to have truly made it into the mainstream with their wide variety of uses and apps in the consumer, government and commercial worlds. They represent a major leap forward in mobile AR smart eyewear with their comfortable, lightweight form factor and powerful display engine. The transition from LCD backlit projection to Si-OLED enables higher contrast levels, a wider colour gamut and true display transparency which makes it game-changing technology.”
The Moverio smart glasses are powered by a quad core Intel Atom X5 processor and run Android 5.1. While the build is an older version to what we have on our phones, it is a stable platform Epson were able to use for efficient rendering of complex 3D experiences. There’s now a 5 megapixel front-facing camera and on-board sensors enable the Moverio BT-300 to more precisely determine the location of objects in the real world. The Si-OLED projection system can then seamlessly render and lock 3D content to these objects, with no display background or edges in the field of view.
Bealby went on to say,
“The BT-300 marks a major advance in technology and performance for the Moverio platform. By using Si-OLED we take advantage of reductions in power usage and weight, and improvements in response times, HD resolution, brightness and contrast. By choosing silicon rather than glass for our base wafer we achieve an even more precise pixel display.
Moverio also has several truly unique benefits, for example being the only smartglasses you can legally fly drones with in Australia as they offer pilots crystal clear, transparent first person views from the drone camera while simultaneously maintaining their line of sight with their aircraft. This makes flying and filming safer and helps users stay in compliance with local and national aviation regulations.”
One of the best applications I can think of is to fly a drone like that from DJI. In Australia, the many Heads Up Displays (HUD) are illegal to use by the drone operator, as CASA requires a line of sight to be maintained for the entire flight. With Augmented reality, its possible to tick this important box, while also augmenting the drone vision with either commercial information or for entertainment like gaming.
Check out the video below on how to fly drones using Epson Moverio BT-300 smartglasses.
The Epson Moverio BT-300 smartglasses are available now at www.epson.com.au and will cost you A$1,199.00. That’s far cheaper than the more than A$4,369 for the HoloLens and in the ballpark of what VR owners are used to paying. Ultimately, like that of many AR/VR headsets, what’s on offer here is fairly unique, so pricing benchmarks are still being refined. Its affordable for enthusiasts and easily accessible for business to purchase multiple headsets, so the price is probably right, even if the software stack isn’t as extensive as something like Oculus.