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Epson Moverio BT-100 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £520
inc VAT

An interesting concept but too rough around the edges to recommend

Epson is best known for its business and home cinema projectors, but its Moverio BT-100 is a major break from the norm. These Google Android-powered projector glasses are designed to let you take your films with you on the move and watch them like there’s a big-screen TV in front of your eyes.

At least, that’s the theory – in reality, the technology has yet to catch up with the promise of wearable TV glasses. The headset has a tiny pico projector built into each arm, pointing inwards towards an angled mirror in each lens which then projects the image in the centre of your vision. The bulky glasses weigh a considerable amount and comfort is not their strong point. The spectacle wearers in our office found it uncomfortable to wear for any length of time, even after switching between the three rubber nose pieces that are adjusted for different facial features. Even those of us with decent vision had to tilt our heads upwards to keep the glasses perched on our heads, as the weight pushes them downwards.

Epson Moverio BT-100

The Moverio is unique in that it’s the only headset of its kind that doesn’t completely obscure your vision – the dark outer visor is semi-transparent, letting you see your surroundings without being distracted by them. However, in practice, watching dark films against a bright background can make it difficult to pick out any detail whatsoever. The visor can also be removed completely, to let other people see you while you watch, although the angled lenses still obscure your pupils so you can’t really hold a conversation with another person without scaring them a little.

Other than comfort, there are several major issues with the Moverio in its current form, and almost all of them are aimed at the Android-powered control unit. It has a touchpad to allow you to navigate the stock Android 2.2 Froyo interface, but it’s awkward to unlock the device after it enters standby as it requires a long tap on the screen.

The ability to play 3D content is a great idea, but it’s poorly executed – The button that overlays the video from each projector into one stereoscopic image applies to the whole operating system, not just the currently playing video, so you have to disable it in order to navigate the menus once you’re finished watching.

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