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Eyes-on: Epson's upcoming BT-200 augmented reality glasses

updated 05:21 pm EST, Wed January 8, 2014

Epson brings second-generation, BT-200 video glasses to CES

Epson brought its second-generation augmented reality smart glasses to CES, and Electronista staffers had a chance to check them out. Following up on the BT-100 launched two years ago, the Moverio BT-200 glasses use a miniaturized LCD projection lens and optical light guide in the arms of the eyeglasses to produce sharp images.

The equivalent screen size is 80 inches, Epson reps told us, and it's very vivid despite what sounds like low resolution, at 960x540. It is possible to see through the image, though it does obscure a large chunk of straight-ahead vision. The display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and offers a 23-degree field of view.

With third-party apps that are in development, Epson claims the glasses will be capable of providing 360-degree panoramic experiences thanks to their built-in head-tracking feature. This is due to the integrated gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetic compass in the updated model. A camera allows for not only capturing images, but also detecting markers used by AR apps.

Android 4.0 powers the device, with users controlling it via a smartphone-sized and wired touch remote. Wi-Fi is built in for streaming content from HDMI-connected sources that are also connected to an optional wireless mirroring adapter. Local content can be played from a microSDHC card up to 32GB in capacity. Bluetooth 3.0 is also integrated. Native file support includes MP4 with H.264 and AAC encoding.

The glasses are still rather bulky, but the new model lacks headphones, which helps to explain the claimed 60 percent reduction in weight over their predecessors. Battery life is said to top out at six hours.

The BT-200 is due to ship in March, priced at the same $700 as their predecessor. Included in the package will be two removable shades, and a prescription lens insert.

By Electronista Staff
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