Keep Your eYes on Your Drone
You’ll bEST kNoW Epson for its excellent range of photo printers, but the company has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies (including making EVF screens). One of the more interesting non-printer Epson products is its Moverio high-definition ‘smart glasses’ which are gradually finding a range of applications in industry, science and tourism.
The latest generation Moverio BT-300 model has recently been introduced and is more compact, lighter in weight and more sophisticated than previous models. Unlike conventional VR goggles, the Moverio glasses are transparent so you’re still in touch with the real world while displays are being generated on the inside of the lenses. Epson is calling them “augmented reality” smart glasses.
Our interest in the Moverio smart glasses is their usefulness for flying a camera drone, where there’s a legal requirement in Australia that the aircraft be kept in sight all the time. Obviously you can’t do this with conventional VR goggles. With the Moverio glasses you can watch the drone and also see what its camera is seeing via two siliconbased backlit OLED projection displays. Wireless connectivity is via WiFi or Bluetooth and there’s a built-in memory card slot for microSD devices which supplements 16 GB of onboard storage.
Epson’s Moverio smartglasses are powered by a quad-core Intel Atom X5 processor running Android 5.1 which enables efficient rendering of complex 3D content. An upgraded five megapixels front-facing camera and on-board sensors (including a GPS receiver) enable the Moverio BT300 to more precisely determine the location of objects in the real world. The Si-OLED projection system can then seamlessly render and lock 3D content to these objects, with no display background or edges in the field-of-view. The transition from LCD backlit projection to Si-OLED in the BT300 enables higher contrast levels, a wider colour gamut and enhanced display transparency. Being much lighter than most drone-flying headsets or goggles, the BT-300 is more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time… in fact, not much different from a normal pair of glasses. The Si-OLED displays are very crisp and clear, but more importantly it’s now a lot easier to shift your focus from here to the longer distances and back without getting tired eyes. The cable-connected controller uses a trackpad for more efficient navigation and a rechargeable battery pack gives up to six hours of operation… which, of course, far exceeds the range of any camera drone.
Epson’s Moverio BT-300 smart glasses are priced at $1199 which isn’t cheap, but probably justifiable if you do a lot a drone flying. For more information visit www.epson.com.au