The Google Glass might be a niche product, both from the usability and price point perspectives, but it seems that this particular niche cannot be satiated by just one competitor. Or, at least, that’s what Epson seems to believe. The company that gained famed via its remarkable printing products has announced the second-generation of its Google Glass competitor – a smart glass christened Moverio BT-200, which can do pretty much everything that Google has on offer and more, for a significantly lower price point.
The Moverio, which will sell at $699.99, is primarily an augmented reality eyewear that will make it easier for its users (which are ideally the same crowd that Google Glass was aimed at) to mix the real world with the virtual one. The device is equipped with a front-facing camera, GPS chip and sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope and other to enable capturing of user movement data. The AR images are overlaid the Moverio’s lenses using two micro projectors on both sides of the lenses. It’s noteworthy that Moverio isn’t a standalone device; it needs to be paired up with a separate mobile-like unit for functioning, which in turn runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The controller unit, however, is primarily aimed at navigating around the Moverio’s UI, and not really a functional piece of hardware itself. Since Moverio BT-200 is equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity modes, it can be hooked up with a smartphone or tablet.
A stark difference from the first generation prototype from Epson is the fact that Moverio cannot be mounted atop any eyewear, which was a prime feature of the first generation device. This has allowed Epson to reduce the overall heft of the hardware, although necessitating the need for an extra purchase should you choose to go that way.
The best part of the whole deal is that Moverio is available to buy right now, without any wait period mandated. The device, although comparable to Google Glass, cannot be deemed as a competitor for everyone. It might find love from a niche within the niche that prefers such expensive hardware. Will you get one? Let us know in comments below.
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