If you are out of luck in finding a pair of Google's Explorer glasses and want an alternative pair of augmented reality glasses to try out right now, you may want to consider Epson's Moverio BT-200. Epson has just announced that it is starting to ship these smart glasses for a price of $699.99, which is less than half of what Google's Glass go for.
Epson's glasses stand out because they do not just focus on apps, software and augmented reality, but offer a VR-like experience as well. They offer stereoscopic 3D as well as a transparent display supporting 960 x 540 pixels each.
"Micro projectors located on each side of the eyeglasses project transparent overlays of digital content directly in the user's field of view over the real-world environment," Epson said.
Additional sensors are also included that make it a pretty nifty head-mounted display as well as AR glasses. The sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer and a magnetic compass for head tracking.
The AR is implemented using cameras combined with the lenses that detect live feedback from the wearer's environment.
"A front-facing camera for video and image capture also detects real-world markers for augmented reality (AR) application," Epson said.
Thus far, Epson is targeting enterprise users, app developers and early tech adapters, and not the commuter or consumer waiting in line at Starbucks. The company pointed out uses -- such as retail, wholesale tracking, healthcare and complex repair assistance -- as ways the tech can benefit society right now.
Epson's release of alternative augmented reality smart glasses to the public before Google Glass officially release, is a great way to disrupt the market early. Although head-mounted displays are nothing new, neither are 3D headsets, the way app integration can influence their use and the way they can be utilized for AR implementations within real-world environments is what sets them apart for the modern generation.
These Epson glasses, like Google's, offer app development support and AR integration, which is what is needed to challenge Google. The price is also descent when compared to Google's offering, however, it will remain to be seen how the software development takes off for these glasses and whether they end up being relevant to consumers at all. Thus far, it seems the target market for the Google Glass and the Moverio BT-200 seems to be quite different.
The glasses come with a remote control that is accessible via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The batteries last up to six hours.
You can purchase a pair of these smart glasses from Epson.com or prelaunch.com.