The first thing that strikes you about the glasses is that they are quite bulky and incredibly ugly. In a consumer world filled with beautiful Apple devices, this is already a difficult obstacle to overcome.
Essentially, the glasses project an image in front of you allowing you to watch movies or browse the web whilst still keeping track of your surroundings.
Iain Friar, marketing service manager for Epson UK told us that they’re targeting the device at business travelers. “There are other products out there that are fully immersive but research tells us that users feel threatened using such products in public and the see through nature of the glasses allows you to keep track of things around you and watch the screen simultaneously,” he said.
The product works very well. The projected screen is designed to emulate the experience of watching an 80 inch screen from five metres away, and although the image didn’t look that big to me it was quite impressive. The QHD display resolution equates to a quarter of full 1080p HD. It comes with Dolby stereo sound and also boasts 3D imaging. The glasses project two separate images to either eye giving the illusion of 3D and it certainly works as well as any 3D television set. The glasses are Wi-Fi enabled and come equipped with a web browser.
Friar pointed out that Moverio gives you privacy in that the passenger next to you in the plane can’t see your screen, but I think that solves a problem that doesn’t really exist. I’ve never really heard people complaining of others watching their iPad screens. The other problem is that you can’t share it with a friend. The competition here really is the iPad and the glasses don’t compete. As well as being able to watch movies on your iPad you can browse the web really easily and download a seemingly unlimited range of apps. Epson doesn’t have any type of app store or Google Play environment so everything on your glasses will have to be copied from another device.
Big price tag
The final problem is the price tag. Epson says it will be available shortly for a whopping €600. There’s a reason it’s aimed at the business traveller – few else will be able to afford it. The glasses are not available to buy yet but Epson say they will announce details of where you can get them in the next few weeks once distribution agreements are finalised.
I think there could be a future for these devices if they become a lot more compact and stylish but the Moverio has a long way to go. If you’ve got more money than sense and don’t mind looking like a complete berk, these are for you, but don’t expect to see too many of them in business class flights anytime soon.