Not everyone is stoked about Google Glass and many that are still frown at the price. Epson may have a cheaper alternative for those that are still interested.
It is important to note that “cheaper” means a little less than half the price, which is still $699. A steep price to pay as an early adopter. Especially when the technology doesn’t have any practical application yet.
The Epson Moverio BT-200 is comprised of a set of a set of glasses connected to a smartphone sized touch pad. The two serve as a full Android system, just with a separated touch screen, whereas Google Glass is a single unit running a minimal version of Android.
This difference marks a very distinct and separate use case for each device. Google Glass is intended to function almost solely in the background with just a tiny screen in the users’ peripheral for notifications and minimal visualization. Google Glass is not designed to be your primary focus when you are using it, while the Epson Movorio is something that is intended to be the front and center of your attention.
The use case intended by Epson isn’t clear, since the places it would be acceptable (or safe) to use such a device are all places where it is safe and acceptable to use a laptop or tablet. The Movorio does have a big upside when it comes to portability, though.
It might actually be more accurate to compare it to the Oculus Rift than Google Glass since it represents a nearly full field of view and uses an accelerometer and motion sensors to aid in navigation, but the Movorio does occupy an awkward space between both devices that might be considered the lowest common denominator than the best of both worlds.
Until wearables are a more common part of our gadget repertoire, we can expect to see quite a few variants as the technology fights to find its niche. The Epson Movorio BT-200 isn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but as we saw with MP3 players and smartphones, eventually they’ll get it just right.