Epson’s Moverio BT-100 is possibly the closest you’ll get to a theatre-like experience while on the move. This see-through wearable display is based on micro-projection technology to project a virtual 80-inch screen in front of your eyes.
What sets this apart from other solutions like the HMZ-T2 from Sony is that you can actually see your surroundings while watching a movie so you can move around without bumping or tripping on things.
The glasses are made mostly of plastic and while they are built well, they don’t have the most ergonomic design and tend to rest on your nose, which can cause discomfort after a while. There’s not much support around the ears too as the weight of the glasses tends to weigh your ears down. A future revision should fix this though.
The glasses use LCD projection with LEDs instead of a bulb. The native resolution of the virtual screen is 960 x 540, which makes for a very sharp and crisp image, even at 80 inches. You can barely tell between individual pixels and the colour reproduction is also very good, along with no sign of any colour banding or trailing. While the projected screen is best viewed in the dark, the glasses come with a tinted shade that can be attached for watching movies during the day.
This also happens to be the first Android-powered wearable display. The headset connects to a control unit which runs on Android 2.2 and also includes the rechargeable battery. What’s more, you even get Wi-Fi, so you can browse the web or stream YouTube videos right off the headset. You get 1GB of usable onboard storage plus the option for expansion via a microSD card slot – 4GB card is bundled. The control unit houses standard Android controls that you find on smartphones, including a touchpad, so you have a choice for navigation.
Now, the Moverio doesn’t support the Android Play Store, but you can still install apps by simply dumping the APK files in memory and installing it. The BT-100 has a powerful ARM-based CPU onboard which easily lets you play 1080p movies. Since this is Android, you can playback almost any type of video files with the right player.
Audio quality is very good. The Dolby sound enhancement makes a big difference with the bundled earphones and you also have the option to use your own. Last but not the least, the BT-100 also supports stereoscopic 3D playback. The dedicated button on the control unit lets you switch to 3D mode and back. The battery will last you about 4 hours, which is not bad. This private home theatre comes at a price of Rs42,900 which is not terribly overpriced when you consider the features it offers.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5