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Epson Moverio BT-200 adds augmented reality to personal cinema specs

Epson has announced the second generation of Moverio headset, the BT-200, which gains augmented reality features as well as movie playback

Epson has revealed the Moverio BT-200 augmented reality headset, the company’s second generation wearable display, at CES in Las Vegas. With a host of on-board sensors, the BT-200 has much grander ambitions than its entertainment-focused predecessor.

Unlike the Moverio BT-100, which was mainly aimed at travelling business customers that wanted to watch films in private on planes and trains (yes, it is as seedy as its sounds), the BT-200 has transparent lenses and should be seen as a competitor to Google Glass. It is 60% lighter and half the size of the old model, yet gains a range of integrated sensors including a gyroscope, compass, accelerometer and GPS, along with a front-facing camera.

Tiny projectors built into the arms of the headset project a 960×540 resolution image, creating a perceived 320in screen in the centre of your vision for either 2D or 3D content. Although it can be used to play films and games, Epson has instead focused on augmented reality possibilities including GPS navigation and live translation of foreign signs.

However, unlike Google Glass, the glasses are permanently tethered to a small control box which contains the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory and battery pack good for up to six hours of use. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and Miracast connectivity are built in too.

Epson Moverio BT-200

The BT-200 runs Google’s Android operating system like its predecessor. Thankfully been upgraded to a newer version, although 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich is still behind 4.2 Jelly Bean and a long way behind the latest 4.4 KitKat release. It also relies on the closed Moverio apps market rather than Google Play, which will almost certainly limit your choice when it comes to what to download.

The Moverio BT-200 will cost €699 when they go on sale in Europe from May onwards, but with no official UK pricing it’s unclear whether they will be making their way to the UK in any great number.

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