Mobile World Congress 2016 saw smart eyewear manufacturers displaying the latest versions of their connected glasses..
Among the buzz of new handsets, marketing tech, virtual reality and even connected toothbrushes (the Oral B Genius), smart glasses manufacturers were keen to create momentum for what many considered a stalled, even irrelevant, device.
Vuzix showcased its next generation M300 smart glasses in tandem with the M100 glasses and iWear video headphones. Improved ergonomics may not be enough for buyers spooked by the withdrawal of Google Glass – still the spectre at the party – but Vuzix is hoping its hands-free wearable computer can capture a large slice of the business market.
The M300 glasses run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow or Android M) and iOS on an Intel Atom processor and the talk on Vuzix’ website is of improving ‘existing workflows’ and opening up ‘opportunities in industrial, medical, retail, supply chain, remote help desk, and other aspects of your business’. This new ‘ruggedized form’ whispers building site aesthetics with its ‘hi-vis’ yellow stripe.
“Vuzix is leading the way as wearable technology quickly becomes front and centre in enterprise clients’ plans to improve productivity and gain efficiencies,” said Paul Travers, president and CEO at Vuzix. It has a monocular display, expandable memory, HD camera, recording and playback capability, plus it can be used as a barcode scanner. Compatibility with thousands of commercial apps is coupled with developer resources for those looking to create their own business apps. Check out the video below for a demonstration.
To capture its part of the growing virtual reality market, Vuzix introduced the iWear video headphones and has now updated its VR manager software to expand the number of compatible games titles to 120. The iWear connects to existing Blu-ray players, tablets, games consoles, PCs or mobile phones using HDMI inputs, making it one of the most advanced mobile entertainment displays on the market.
Users experience a field of view equivalent to a 125-inch home theatre screen viewed from 10 feet away. Players can plug into console games including Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Avatar, and to SteamVR through OSVR for classic titles such as Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2. The integrated tracker gives iWear support for Unity 3D and many VR titles.
“Whether a visitor wants to browse the site to learn more about a specific favorite title or discover a new one, the online library at vuzix.com provides everything in only a few clicks, including support for some of the latest and greatest VR enabled titles,” added Travers.
Epson Moverio BT-300
Epson was at MWC 2016 to talk about its Moverio BT-300 glasses, sporting a Silicon Organic Light Emitting Diode (Si-OLED) display able to produce much deeper, true black tones. Other advances included a 30 per cent weight reduction and a chip upgrade to an Intel Atom 5, 1.44 GHz quad core chip running Android 5.1.
The BT-300 glasses are pitched for use as augmented reality training tools, remote assistance, first person viewing for drone pilots, retail shopping assistance and video entertainment. Business or industrial use is emphasised, but the video demo below is pretty consumer friendly. The glasses are powered by a wire connected processor unit, which likely helps avoid latency and overheating issues