Google may soon find itself with a serious competitor in the wearable technology arena, as printer manufacturer Epson has revealed its own brand of ‘smart glasses’.
Unveiling the set of augmented reality specs at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Japanese company confirmed that its device runs on an Android 4.0 operating system and features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.
Creatively titled Moverio BT-200, the eyewear utilises two screens to overlay images and videos in the middle of a user’s visual field – unlike Google Glass, which relies on a single transparent screen.
As well as its visual elements, the glasses contain sensors such as a gyroscope, accelerometer, microphone and GPS, in addition to advanced Dolby Digital audio capabilities.
Perhaps notably, the Moverio BT-200 glasses don’t represent Epson’s first venture into developing wearable technology; the firm released the BT-100 back in 2011, but its latest gadget is half the weight and size of its predecessor.
Epson UK’s Visual Imaging business manager, Graeme Davidson, said:
“By tapping into this growing demand for wearable technology, we have developed the BT-200 – the only affordable, binocular, see-through device of its kind on the market that projects content over a viewer’s entire field of vision.
“It’s not vapour-ware, it’s a real proposition, as we’ve been in this market with a tangible product that has been available to purchase since 2011.”
No doubt the coming years will see more wearable smart devices launched by some of the top names in the tech sphere – particularly if the glasses from Epson and Google make headway with the mainstream markets. As developers look for innovative ways to allow their customers to browse social media newsfeeds, access e-stores and carry out day-to-day tasks, it’s likely that the arena will become increasingly competitive.