Epson Debuts $500 Augmented Reality Moverio Smart Glasses Powered By Your Smartphone

Smart glasses are an interesting item, but their typically high price tags and limited use cases have prevented them from gaining widespread traction. Epson's latest product may change the game, however. The Epson Moverio BT-30C Smart Glasses connect to Android phones and Windows PCs and ring in at a mere $500 USD.

Epson has been producing augmented reality (AR) smart glasses since 2011. Unfortunately, most of their smart glasses must be tethered to a device and can be quite pricey. Many companies have been working on creating a product that is lighter, easier to use, and more accessible to both companies and everyday users, which is where the Moverio BT-30C fits in. According to Eric Mizufuka, Product Manager of Augmented Reality, “the introduction of the Moverio BT-30C brings to market an affordable, high-quality and comfortable wearable display solution that leverages the content, connectivity and power of a smartphone.”
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The Moverio BT-30C Smart Glasses connect to Android devices or Windows PCs through a USB Type-C port, as long as the device supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. Users will be able to view content from their devices on the smart glasses and access a wide variety of Google Play apps. Users will simply need to plug in the smart glasses to begin viewing content.

The smart glasses feature a high-resolution OLED display with a 23-degree field of view. Users can make their screen transparent so that they can see their surroundings better or utilize a “dark lens shade” feature to provide a movie theater-like experience. Users will also be able to easily create their own apps and, with the Moverio SDK, “access headset orientation data, side-by-side 3D display mode, and other functions”.
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The Moverio BT-30C Smart Glasses arrive just in time for the impending wave of 5G smartphones. Hugo Steward of Qualcomm noted that connecting the smart glasses to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 5G-enabled smartphone will “provide transformative benefits to both consumer and enterprise sectors.” These smart glasses therefore will not lose their relevance once 5G devices are more widely available.

Epson’s main consumer base appears to be companies. The smart glasses are lightweight and can be worn with work and safety gear. In particular, Epson is marketing their smart glasses toward app developers and argue that AR offers limitless possibilities. It remains to be seen whether the $500 price tag will get companies and developers to bite.