Even the birds on the trees have heard all about Google Glass by now. It is the latest in bringing science fiction to our doorsteps and our heads, to be more precise. Some say that it is the best thing since the wheel while others see it as nothing but a fad that will pass once people realize it is more bother than it is worth. We would like to take the middle (some might say) the high road and say that the truth is something in the middle. We are sure that there are a lot of potentially great uses for Google Glass and the entire idea of augmented reality glasses. One thing that many people do not think about is the competition. Well, the competition is already here and it is making quite big splashes.
Introducing Epson Moverio BT-200
Introducing Epson Moverio BT-200. Most people know Epson as a manufacturer of printers and similar products, all high quality but not something you think of as revolutionary. And the interesting thing is that Moverio BT-200 is not their first foray into the world of augmented reality glasses. Their older model, Moverio BT-100 has been around for some time and we have to say, as much as we think that it is great someone else than Google is doing something in this field, that it was not a resounding success.
That being said, we actually believe that Moverio BT-200 has a lot going for it and that it might just give its faaaaaar more publicized and talked about competitor a run for its money. The reason why we think this might be the case is far more complex than just comparing the specifications, which may not actually give a clear winner. However, we will still do the comparison just to make sure we have covered all the bases.
For one, we have 960 x 540 pixels for Moverio BT-200 and 640 x 360 for Google, which may seem like a clear victory for Epson. However, it needs to be said that the Google Glass' display is actually quite smaller when projected, which means that the resolutions are somewhere equal. Google Glass' storage capacity is 12 GB usable space while Moverio BT-200 comes with only 4 GB (with optional 32 GB on a microSDHC card. They both come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, magnetic compass, gyroscope, etc.
Google Glass connects to the smartphone wirelessly while Moverio BT-200 needs a wire that connects it to a controller unit. We understand that this can be a huge thing for many people and we will give our vote to Google on this front.
We also need to talk about the software support where Google is already ahead and where Google will keep staying ahead, even though the people from Epson are doing everything they can to involve developers and to encourage development of new apps and services. This is one where the future will give us a winner.
Then, there is the price and this is where Epson really makes a killing. Namely, while Google Glass will set you back $1,500; you can buy yourself a pair of Moverio BT-200 for $699.99. It is obvious that when it comes to the price, Google cannot touch Epson.
However, in the end, it all comes down to the way the companies are positioning their products and this is the main reason why we believe that Epson has a nice chance to get their share of the market. The thing is that Moverio BT-200 has been, from the day one, marketed as a professional aid. For instance, they are marketing their product as being able to help engineers, people who do intricate repairs and even medical personnel. This is not saying that they do not believe their product is fun, but they tend to cater more to the professional crowd that will actually use augmented reality for something other than fun and shopping, which seems to be the predominant direction Google is going with their Glass in Ray Ban style. Some people may have thought that this competition was lost by Epson even before it started, but we think otherwise. Only time will tell.
Published on May 20, 2014