The view from Inside Epson's Moverio smart glasses program

Black Is the New Clear

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.

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