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Hands on: Epson Moverio projector headset

Android-powered glasses can project a widescreen 3D image directly in front of your eyes, wherever you are

Epson’s Moverio headset is a huge departure from the office and home cinema projectors we’re used to seeing from the company – the Android-powered device can throw the equivalent of an 80in image directly in front of your face, no matter where you are.

Aimed at business travelers that would prefer to watch films in privacy rather than share them with their fellow passengers, the Moverio is the first headset of its type that doesn’t completely obscure your field of vision. The removable tinted visor is semi-transparent, so you can watch in peace but still be aware of your surroundings.

Moverio 1

The headset itself is a little on the heavy side, meaning we had to look up to stop it falling off our face – three adjustable nose pieces should mean anyone can wear it, but glasses wearers might find it hard to balance the chunky arms on their ears.

Images are projected at a QHD resolution, which is fairly standard for the Android operating system. We would have liked the screen to have appeared a little larger, as there’s room in your field of vision for it, but at least videos appeared reasonably sharp.

The control box runs Android 2.2, controllable by the built-in touchpad or buttons. With integrated Wi-Fi, you can use it to browse the web as well as watch video, although the virtual keyboard isn’t the most intuitive text entry method.

A hardware switch enables the 3D mode, which is unfortunately system-wide – turn it on while in the menus and you’ll end up with two images drawn side-by-side. However, with the right content, there’s a reasonable amount of depth and none of the flicker associated with active shutter glasses.

Moverio 2

Photos, videos and music can be stored on the 4GB MicroSD card supplied with the headset, or the 1GB internal memory – this should be large enough for a few films, but you may want to buy a larger card for longer journeys. With a battery life of around six hours, you’ll only be able to get through two full-length films before needing to recharge anyway.

Audio comes from a pair of removable headphones – Dolby Mobile2 stereo surround is supported and sound quality seemed above average, but the large earpieces might not be to everyone’s taste. Thankfully, you can plug your own pair of earbuds into the main unit if you prefer.

Moverio 3

Eager customers will be able to get their hands on a pair of Moverio glasses in February – Epson expects retailers to sell them for around £520. We’ll be giving the set a full review in the next few weeks, but right now the Moverio looks like an interesting proof of concept – we’ve already spotted a few faults, but time will tell if it’s well suited to the travelling film fan.

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