Epson's 3-D glasses simulate 80-inch screen

Apr 01, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Epson America is now shipping Android-powered projector glasses that place your favorite videos, or games, literally in your face, Epson’s Moverio BT-100 wearable display glasses can simulate an 80-inch screen and deliver 3-D viewing. The Moverio BT-100 wearable display launched in Japan last November and is now available in the U.S. The device is on sale through Epson, resellers, or via Amazon.

At tech events, wearable displays that have showcased in the form of high-tech visors and chunky spectacles or goggles seem to draw measured responses—impressive inventions for private media viewing at home or on the go but silly-looking or even evocative of special-recovery shades for postoperative elderly outpatients. We noticed at least one reference to “grandma glasses.”

Epson’s Moverio BT-100 Wearable Display do not look exactly like designer sunglasses but they do have loaded features for gadget collectors who do not think $699.99 is an unthinkable price.

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According to reports, the glasses have pico projectors that are able to create a virtual experience of up to 80 inches’ display at a perceived distance of about 16 feet. According to Expert Reviews, the headset has a tiny pico built into each arm, pointing inwards towards an angled mirror in each lens, which projects the image in the center of the wearer’s vision. The dark outer visor is semi-transparent, letting the wearer see surroundings without being distracted by them.

The device carries 1GB of built-in storage. Users access downloaded content via the microSDHC card slot (4GB card included) There is built-in WFi connectivity; a lithium rechargeable battery provides around six hours of continuous use. Built-in earbuds provide Dolby Mobile virtual surround sound.

Of all the features, much appears to be made of the Android name in Epson product descriptions, as “Android-powered Moverio glasses.” The glasses connect to a control module; this Android 2.2-based handheld device lets the user select the content to view. Moverio is running on an Android 2.2 platform with Adobe Flash support. Epson publishes the kernel and an SDK, but the company is requiring developers to submit apps to them for consideration rather than going through an app store. The good news is that Epson is interested in seeing more new Android-based applications and side-by-side 3D content for its Moverio BT-100. To help support application and content development for Moverio BT-100, Epson is offering programs for developers residing in the United States.

Meanwhile, Epson’s end-user vision is to see the product adopted not merely for personal entertainment use but also for business and professional ends. America’s Anna Jen, director of New Business Development, said the Moverio BT-100 may play a role in virtual training platforms, 3D-CAD environments, and visualizing 3-D design renderings.

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More information: www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Moverio/Home.do

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User comments : 20

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cmn
5 / 5 (2) Apr 01, 2012
I think they have the right idea, if they're going to do this, it needs to be feature packed.
Callippo
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2012
Not just hobbyists, but all office employees working with data and programmers could wear it - the starring at displays from distance is too distracting..
Callippo
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 01, 2012
The Moverio resolution 960×540 is not so impressive in comparison to anounced SiliconMicroDisplay ST1080 (1920×1080 pixels). But the end of world is nearing and one never knows, if it has a meaning to wait for better product...
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (36) Apr 01, 2012
960 x 650 pixel display
dirk_bruere
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2012
Anything not 1080p is a waste of time IMHO
infinite_energy
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
Still a way to go from translucent quadHD contact lenses augmented reality.
Direct neuronal stimulation will immerse you in any reality also.
Occupodies
not rated yet Apr 01, 2012
Anything not 1080p is a waste of time IMHO

Doesn't sound very humble to me...
ShotmanMaslo
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
According to reports, the glasses have pico projectors that are able to create a virtual experience of up to 80 inches display at a perceived distance of about 16 feet.


So the field of view is only around 20 degrees, the display is tiny. That is really disappointing, considering that Sony HMZ-T1 and SiliconMicroDisplay ST1080 have around 45 degrees.
dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
The SMD page says they expect to begin shipping the ST1080 in May 2012. $100 more for twice the resolution sounds like a no-brainer to me.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
So the field of view is only around 20 degrees, the display is tiny. That is really disappointing, considering that Sony HMZ-T1 and SiliconMicroDisplay ST1080 have around 45 degrees.


That's a limitation of the display resolution. Human vision is good for details about 0.017 degrees in size, and 960 pixels over 20 degrees is 0.02 deg/px so if the projection was any larger, you'd start noticing the limited resolution. Since it's a laser projected image, you'd probably see the scanlines. To make it bigger, they'd have to blur the image and you'd notice it.

1080p resolution has 1920 horizontal pixels, which affords a much larger display without a noticeable loss in sharpness.

Vendicar_Decarian
0.1 / 5 (35) Apr 01, 2012
At 1900 x 1280 or similar resolutions, things begin to get interesting for display glasses, as this affords them the ability to replace video monitors and provide a useful amount of room.

Such a display would be part 2 of 3 in the death of the desktop. Part 1 is the reduction of the compute portion of the desktop which is now reasonably complete with the advent of powerful cell phone processors.

part 3 will be the replacement of the keyboard input device with something else.

This will be the most difficult part of the transition for composition. Although not for media consumption.
insignificant_fish
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
this tech has been trying to get off the ground for... um. my lifetime. i remember playing the new n64 mario game on a heads up display at my childhood dentist's office. In more recent years we had the Myvu failure as well as other cumbersome, uncomfortable, expensive, non-user friendly, poor-resolution options... this tech will never fly until it is as light as a pair of normal glasses, has an untethered option (including battery) and looks like steve jobs would sleep with it. short of this (or contact lenses) this market will bock... though you might find it a reasonable distraction at you local oral hygienist's office :)
georgert
not rated yet Apr 01, 2012
And yet I can't plug it into my video iPod. So, what's the point?
la7dfa
not rated yet Apr 01, 2012
Hwo the f... cares if it "emulates" a 80 inch screen.
Resolution, lag and contrast ratio are parameters that counts.
This device features and resolution sounds a bit anno 1999.
PS3
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
Sony's Personal 3D Viewer is the best! It has 720 Oled screens that give 150'' view!
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2012
Part 1 is the reduction of the compute portion of the desktop which is now reasonably complete with the advent of powerful cell phone processors.


Actually, part 2 is better batteries. Processing is still limited by the power consumption, and cellphone CPUs aren't actually very powerful because of that. Otherwise we'd make desktops out of them.

The power of the cellphone CPU comes from specialized functions like hardware MPEG decoding which a desktop machine can do without breaking a sweat, many times over, in software with its big 100 Watt processor, and which the cellphone couldn't because it has an energy budget of about 3.7 Watt-hours.

So the cellphone processor can only do exactly what it's built to do, which is to play youtube videos and simple games and apps that put all the really heavy work up in the "cloud". If you do stuff like CAD/CAM then it quickly runs out of steam because of the long latency to the server. That's why dumb terminals have never worked out.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
The difference in available energy for computation in a portable device and in a desktop machine is huge. Like I said, a cellphone has what, a 1000 mAh battery with ~4 Watt-hours of energy. A desktop machine CPU eats through these at a rate of 20-25 an hour at full tilt.

In order to have just couple hours of runtime out of your battery, you need to use less than 1/100th the power available to a desktop machine, which is why you can't afford CPUs with many transistors, which means you need a reduced instruction set, which means you do less work per clock cycle to begin with. That's why saying that a cellphone CPU is ready to replace the desktop is like saying that bicycles are ready to replace the automobile.

Part 3 would be thermal management, because with more processing power comes more heat, so even if you did fit a better battery in your cellphone, trying to use it will literally burn a hole in your pocket.

bloodyanarch
not rated yet Apr 02, 2012
I'm still not convinced of the death of a desk top. It will probablly (should) morph into something difference but if you have a mobile displays and say mobile input you still could have a centeralized desktop system.

Picture an entertanment system that replaces your tv/dvr and computer, just plop on your glasses and wirelessly connect to the entertainment system and watch/surf/whatever.

That being said, obivously there is a high demand for a mobile market but I think this will repalce the current laptop.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2012
if you have a mobile displays and say mobile input you still could have a centeralized desktop system.


That's assuming that you can keep the latency under check.

Which is doable in a home environment. You can stream a picture wirelessly to a handheld or an eyepiece as long as you have fast bandwidth, and standing within yards of the transmitter you probably won't notice any problems. But once you go over the internet to the house next door, latency becomes a problem. Trying to paint with a brush will see the line appear 100 milliseconds behind your cursor because the data has to go there and back again, which is inconvenient. It may take a cellular network up to 3 seconds, which is downright useless for interactive applications.

If you want real computing power in your pocket, you have to remain in reach of your home WiFi, or, reduce the power consumption of transistors by a factor of 100. Which would mean that you could get a desktop 100 times more powerful as well.
cristmae
not rated yet Apr 03, 2012
This is really great.keep up the good work!