Headaches galore with these bizarre glasses
The Epson Moverio B-100 is a bit like a vision of the future from around 1982. These futuristic specs beam video into your eyes in 2D and 3D, giving the impression of the big screen without anyone else seeing what you're watching. For the price, we were expecting to be impressed. In practice, we were brutally underwhelmed. The glasses are heavy, so wearing them for prolonged periods of time was uncomfortable.
The Moverio isn't much of a looker either. It's chunky and consists of a series of mismatching plastic pieces giving it an unattractive appearance. The glasses even have a sunglasses attachment that clips on to the front of the already hefty specs, although this piece of plastic looks and feels cheap.
Running on a modified version of Android 2.2 Froyo, the glasses aren't officially certified by Google, so there is no access to the Google Play store for downloading apps. The device comes preinstalled with an app for viewing pictures and videos, along with a music player and a web browser. The glasses can connect to the internet using the built-in Wifi. This meant we could check the news headlines and catch up on important emails, all while looking faintly ridiculous.
Each lens on the glasses has a tiny screen in it. When we put the glasses on, the two images were combined to create one image. Although the virtual screen has a resolution of 960x540 pixels, comparable to many modern smartphones, the resulting image didn't look good. There is also a 3D mode, but this looked even worse.
Part of the reason for the poor image quality is due to the fact that the images are displayed on top of the world around you. This means they don't stand out enough. In our tests the glasses worked – but only just – when we stared at a dimly lit white wall. If there's anything going on in the background, or the room is too bright, then the image the glasses displayed became hard to see. The built-in earphones were also poor quality, with muffled sound that made listening to music underwhelming.
Then there's the controller. Epson's rather inelegant solution for navigating through the Android operating system's menus is a chunky black remote control attached by a long wire to the glasses themselves. The controller has a touchpad for navigating around the Android interface, along with the standard home, menu and back buttons. It felt clunky and further added to the almost comedy appearance of the glasses.
In short, we looked like a bargain basement version of Geordi La Forge and our eyes hurt. Not ideal.
Read more reviews
Expensive, uncomfortable and poorly designed. Despite the initial novelty value, this 1980s vision of the future is impossible to recommend
Small novelty/comedy value
Heavy; Strains your eyes; Clunky controls; Poor image quality; Expensive
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