Epson fits eyes with LCDs ahead of an augmented reality

In the future, it’s expected that if we don’t have computers in our eyes, we’ll have glasses that do this for us. Epson is playing with the idea now, though, and is showing what can happen in its AR smart glasses.

Designed to take your real world view and turns it into one that’s a little more digital, the Epson Moverio BT-200 is one product being shown at CES 2014 that looks like it’s really turning heads, or at least bringing eyes to a different place.

Labeled as “smart glasses,” the BT-200 are glasses with an LCD-based projection system inside, capable of showing digital information in the centre of the glasses that its owner will look through.

Essentially, it’s like seeing tiny transparent screens in the centre of your eyes, and combined with some head tracking, the Moverio glasses can work out roughly where you are and change what you see based on head position.

“Leveraging Epson’s leadership in LCD projection technology and visual imaging, the Moverio BT-200’s transparent display and powerful new features give users a new way of seeing the world,” said Atsunari Tsuda, General Manager of the Visual Products Division at Epson.

“In addition, the Moverio technology platform can serve as a foundation for designing highly effective visual tools in a wide variety of commercial and vertical market applications, including training, logistics, science, medicine, security, education and more.”

The glasses also feature a host of neat technologies to make them connect to other devices, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, microSD card slot for expanding the memory, and a small handheld controller running on Android to let people run different apps on it.

We haven’t heard if it will connect to people’s phones or tablets just yet, but given what we’re seeing on the plug connector, we suspect the controller is a necessary part.

Outside of this, you’ll also find a front-facing camera to capture mages and video, and support for MP4 files to play videos back through true glasses.

In essence, the Moverio is like taking the idea we’ve all seen as Google Glass and letting Epson interpret it, with more than just augmented reality on the table.

Epson, in fact, has been talking with application developers, and has games in development, as well as apps demonstrating how you could essentially see demo body structures beneath a hospital patient.

Like Google Glass, Epson’s Moverio set of smart shades doesn’t have a public release date yet, but unlike Google’s project, Epson does have a plan to release the BT-200 in Australia (and other parts of the world, no doubt) later in the year.