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Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses now available in Australia and already in use by CSIRO, Griffith University, Monash University and UWS

November 2014

Next generation wearable augmented reality platform

SYDNEY, 25 November 2014 – The long wait for Epson’s next generation wearable augmented reality platform Smart Glasses, the Moverio BT-200, is over as the glasses are now available for purchase in Australia.

Leading the way in using and developing applications for the glasses are some of Australia’s top education and research organisations including the CSIRO, the University of Western Sydney, Griffith University, Monash University’s Immersive Visualisation Platform and CAVE2 and Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.

The Moverio BT-200 binocular, transparent smart glasses open up a whole new world in entertainment, manufacturing, medical science and more. Each lens has its own display, right in the field of vision, projected into the user’s surroundings. The BT-200 also boast 2x the virtual screen size and work out-of-the-box with common connectivity technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth plus AndroidTM apps that have been certified by the Moverio App Store. With a front-facing camera and motion tracker, the BT-200 is shaping up to be a premier development platform for apps of the future and hands-free scenarios, delivering large, 2D or 3D images with simplicity and ease.

Manager of the visualisation lab at the school of ICT, Griffith University and senior lecturer Dr. Ruben Gonzalez said, “We were looking for a platform to be able to integrate our computer vision research with visualisation research for a variety of student projects in new application areas. The Moverio BT-200 seemed like a good platform to accomplish this goal. I must say I’m impressed with the BT-200. So far I have used it as a remote terminal with a BT keyboard using VNC, and used it as a wearable computer. I'm still working on the software so I can use them as a remote client to a vision processing server but it looks promising. Our main application is for student research projects combining computer vision and data visualisation which will make use of the glasses as a remote client to the vision/visualisation processing server. That said I can see the Moverio BT-200 being of great use in the area of assistive technologies, combining computer vision/AI and visualisation.”

Dr. David Barnes from Monash University added, “At Monash University, we operate the world's largest CAVE2™ immersive, ultra-scale visualisation facility. CAVE2 is an 84-million pixel, hybrid 2D – 3D display wall, curved into a cylindrical configuration and large enough for up to 20 people to explore a 3D scene. CAVE2 is used for the visualisation and analysis of large scientific and engineering datasets, as well as immersive environment simulation, collaboration, and arts and humanities applications. The intent in working with Moverio BT-200 is to explore "augmented virtual reality" (as opposed to augmented reality) so that different users in the CAVE2 can overlay/see personalised data and or 3D models while viewing a common large dataset. The Moverio BT-200 pass through the 3D effect perfectly. Our strategy will be to get the demo applications running, then implement a simple test in the CAVE2 of using Moverio BT-200 to overlay some additional "heads up" information in the CAVE2 environment. We are pretty excited about glasses-based display technology as a way to augment the ultra scale immersive environment of the CAVE2.”

A/Prof and ARC Australian Research Fellow at the Caulfield School of Information Technology and Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University Jon McCormack said, “We do research into visualisation and virtual reality. We're interested in seeing how new technologies can make visualisation and interaction more intuitive and creative. The Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses are a very advanced type of technology. The ability to see a 2D or 3D image overlaid in front of you just by wearing glasses is amazing. We’ve done some testing on them as we're interesting in using them as an interface device for a very high resolution data visualisation system. We are also experimenting with applications where the Moverio BT-200 smart glasses are used as an interface device and also some new applications in augmented reality. We do a lot of 3D printing so one application we've thought of is being able to preview a 3D printed model in-situ before it is printed to check the size and orientation. The other application we're interested in is storytelling and narratives that link real places with virtual ones. We'd like to give people the Moverio BT-200 smart glasses and get them to travel around a city where the experience is enhanced by a different reality. The Moverio BT-200 smart glasses have a real future as I think augmented reality will become increasingly popular, particularly in specialist areas such as training, maintenance and servicing in the field - any job where you need to use your hands for something else, or need accurate spatial information about how something will appear in your environment.”

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