Australia isn’t a place where Google has publicly released its snazzy wearable computer called Google Glass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have something like it right now, as Epson’s alternative makes its way to heads in our own backyard.
The world of wearable computers is coming, taking over your wrists with fitness gadgets and smart watches, eventually moving to other parts of your body before finally settling on your head.
While we’re not quite there with contact lenses that let you record the world and view it from an internet-assisted environment, we’re getting there with the help of glasses.
The most notable product doing this is Google Glass, which at the moment sits in a rather small club for people who have a good $1500 USD laying around and an Android phone, as well as a US address, with Google not yet officially opening orders to international buyers, though you can get one through Google if need be.
But that limited release program isn’t the only way to get your net-connected eye wear game on, as Epson joins the market with its own product.
It’s called the Moverio BT-200, and it’s actually the second generation of a product we first saw in 2012, which back then looked like a vision of the future imagined in the 70s.
Two years can make a world of difference, though, and now the Moverio gasses are smaller, thinner, and can even support prescription lenses if needed. The display is transparent, and motion sensors work with the head, allowing you to see information as you’re walking through the world.
We’re also told it’s smaller and lighter than before, with a control unit that provides up to six hours of battery life and works with Android 4.0.
In Australia, the first people to use the technology are educational institutions, with Griffith and Monash in there early, as well as workers at the government think tank that is the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
While we’re not quite sure what the boffins at the CSIRO are doing, Monash’s Dr. David Barnes has said that it is working with the technology to makes its immersive visualisation system known as “CAVE2” even more immersive.
“Our strategy will be to get the demo applications running, then implement a simple test in the CAVE2 of using Moverio BT-200 to overlay some additional “heads up” information in the CAVE2 environment,” said Barnes. “We are pretty excited about glasses-based display technology as a way to augment the ultra scale immersive environment of the CAVE2.”
Scientific applications aren’t the only concepts you can just the Moverio BT-200 smart glasses with, though, as the technology is available to anyone, provided they have a little under a grand available to work with.
As such, if you’re at all keen for the future and can’t wait for Google to gets its act together, Epson’s Moverio BT-200 glasses are available now for a recommended retail price of $849.