Epson has come out with new augmented reality (AR) glasses that can now be used just by plugging them into your cellphone.
AR glasses or headsets have been around for a while providing simulated visual environmental experiences with physical display optic lenses. AR glasses allow the user to see both the world around them as well as a digital display.
AR glasses are not meant for everyday wear but have been used for military training, robotics, manufacturing, and especially in the world of entertainment.
With the new AR Epson Moverio BT-30C glasses, a user can plug directly into a cellphone, bypassing the need to first plug into a custom Android controller box.
However according to The Verge reviewer, Adi Robertson, the BT-30C glasses are still heavy and chunky and apparently aren’t as sophisticated as the HoloLens or Magic Leap One. Instead of projecting semi-realistic images into real space, the BT-30C glasses pin your screens in mid-air and allows you to control the screens with your phone.
Robertson says that the BT-30C glasses performs well and she experienced sharp, bright images although with the usual field-of-view restrictions as before but they have a better head fit.
Another feature is that the BT-30C glasses will project three different screens, so you can load three different apps rather than the usual single app.
For the time being Epson isn’t counting on a mass-market, mainstream adoption of the BT-30C glasses. For now, along with other AR manufacturers its clientele is mostly businesses which use AR glasses for hands-free computing devices for their workers.
However, there are other groups who have gotten into the picture and are using AR glasses such as drone users who want a point-of-few feed for flying. Another use is for people with hearing loss can now attend plays and see subtitles projected on the AR glasses screen. And some museums offer them on guided tours.
Epson does have future goals for an even broader market and hopes to ‘get a foot in the door’ for the consumer market worldwide with their BT-30C glasses by promoting them to people who want a portable, private screen that can operate off a cellphone or computer.
Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and many other tech giants see the field of augmented reality as the future of computing.