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New augmented reality glasses from Epson comes with phone plug-in

Epson has made its latest pair of augmented reality glasses available. The new glasses, while not ideal for daily use, offer a better set of features than earlier products. The Epson Moverio BT-30C AR glasses can connect to a Windows PC or Android smartphone via USB-C cable. It is a move away from the previous range of Epson Moverio offerings that required plugging into an Android-based controller box. The new augmented reality glasses come at a price of $499 and will be shipped from June this year.

Moverio is not new to the augmented reality glasses market, as it had launched the BT-100 in 2011, which preceded Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass. Due to their heaviness and size, BT-30C glasses could not be utilised as conventional eyewear. The glasses are not as technically feature-packed as Magic Leap One and HoloLens, which are capable of making projections into actual physical space. Users of BT-30C have to pin screens in open space and use their phones to control them.

Epson Moverio

The glasses offer a reasonable 23-degree field of view (FOV) angle and produce a clear and sharp image. The BT-30C glasses are available with better fitting and can be utilised by users with smaller heads too. The fitting quality has improved in comparison to the earlier augmented reality glasses from Epsom, that were more prone to slipping off the faces of users.

The BT-30C glasses are capable of projecting more than a single application while in use. Users are able to load up to three apps across three separate screens. By turning their heads in either direction, users will be able to switch between different applications. It is a feature that will allow a user to utilise multiple applications and multi-task with relative ease. Yet, Epson has said that the glasses might not offer a mainstream experience at this point in time.

Eric Mizufuka, product manager of Epson Moverio believes that augmented reality is yet to become a prominent industry domain. The company expects the technology to gain considerable popularity within the next five years. Epson mainly sells its augmented reality glasses to business organisations which utilise those as hands-free devices. However, the company’s glasses have also found takers among drone fans, who use them as flying drone video feeds. Epson Moverio glasses are also used by The National Theatre in London to showcase subtitles for its plays to visitors who have hearing loss. Even without mass consumer appeal, consumers are likely to come across the glasses in museums of theatres.

According to Mizufuka, Epson is now eager to make an entry into the consumer markets with its latest AR glasses, the BT-30C. The company is targeting consumers who are eager to gain the experience of having a portable screen that can be used with a PC or smartphone. With a lower price tag than the $699 BT-300, it has a larger appeal to the average consumer. Further developments are expected in the field of consumer augmented reality in the near future.

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