Two years ago, Epson released the Moverio BT-100, our first wearable display system. We released it and have been working with developers ever since. And they had lots to say:
• They wanted a front facing camera.
• They felt it was too bulky and wanted it smaller and lighter.
• They didn’t want a daughter card to be required to get video out.
• And they wanted motion sensors.
First coined by our good friend and smart glasses app developer extraordinaire Sean McCracken as he was checking out the Moverio BT-100, “black is the new clear” has become our favorite new catchphrase.
Why? It’s counter-intuitive – how can anything black be clear? But it’s useful in explaining how Android app developers can optimize their augmented reality content for the Moverio smart glasses.
Having a black or transparent background is our first, and most important, recommendation for customizing your content for the Moverio platform. This concept may not be as critical for “look-up” smart glass displays that sit outside your field of view. However, because the Moverio display is centered in your field of view, it’s important that you remove and minimize any visual elements that don’t contribute to the overall experience.
By rendering backgrounds in black, developers can seamlessly blend the real and digital worlds to create a powerful, immersive experience on the Moverio smart glasses. It sets them free to invent all sorts of useful and/or entertaining apps that integrate the environment around you.
A common practice of most phone/tablet developers is to fill every speck of background with color and design. With smart glasses, however, developers have to look at their content differently. A good example of what is possible comes from our partner APX labs in the following video. They attached motion sensors onto the smart glasses which allowed them to create a 360 degree canvas where you can digitally overlay almost anything onto the user’s view of the real environment. Watch the video and notice how content is cleverly out of the way until the user decides to request more details.
When we launched Moverio over 18 months ago, we released a video showing all of its possibilities in science, education, gaming, architecture and more. Since then, we’ve been able to work with developers to actually bring some of these ideas to life. We’ve also heard their feedback and are incorporating many of their ideas into our next-generation products. We appreciate their input and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.
Epson hosted its first hackathon at our Long Beach headquarters on August 24th & 25th. We, in partnership with Metaio GmbH, invited developers to come up with killer augmented reality application ideas for our Moverio smart glasses.
The “See Smarter: Moverio Glasses Hackathon” drew a strong turnout of both veteran and up-and-coming developers looking to put both their knowledge and creativity to the test.
All things considered, the hackathon was a success. We loved the applications that our participants came up with–such as racing against your own, virtual 3D avatar in a real-world foot race, or creating a haunted house with virtual ghosts and ghouls springing from around various corners.
The benefits also exceeded our expectations. In addition to interesting augmented realty apps, we connected with the local technology community, made promising new business contacts, and even drew the attention of local media. And we had a lot of fun.
I’d also like to send a huge thanks to Michael Leyva, our UCLA MBA summer intern, for running the show!
Ever wonder what it takes to run a hackathon? Click on the image below for a complete infographic breakdown.
The blog is dedicated to chronicling the development of a product in one of the hottest technologies on the market today – smart glasses. Transparency will provide an inside look at how Epson is working with developers and partners to expand the applications that are possible for its Moverio smart glasses for the benefit of business and consumers. With all the buzz created around the category by Google Glass, Transparency should become a destination for early enthusiasts and adopters, existing and potential developers and partners as well as media and bloggers who want to learn more how Moverio technology is different and how it will create unique opportunities that other technologies on the market cannot.
Epson Moverio Product Manager, Google Glass Explorer, Flowbee User, Augmented Reality Enthusiast, Aspiring YouTube Artist, & Wearable Tech Fan... Feel free to leave a comment on the blog or DM me on Twitter with any Moverio related questions.