The UK’s National Theatre Is Using Epson’s Smart Glasses To Improve Accessibility

As augmented reality (AR) smart glasses continue to raise in popularity and application the likes of the Epson Moverio glasses are being used in interesting ways. One such use is the UK’s National Theatre using the technology to improve accessibility for their customers to make their offerings suitable for a wider audience and now this initiative is coming to fruition.

Epson Moverio BT-350

As reported by techradar, live performances throw up all sorts of difficulties for hard-of-hearing audience members who may find it hard to follow on with the action. Due to not having the ability to turn on any subtitles unlike when watching the media in after it has been recorded. It is estimated that eleven million people in the UK alone suffer from some degree of hearing loss with the number expect to grow in the future. Because of this, finding a solution to allow those with hearing loss to still be able to enjoy live performances needed to be found.

Though some accessibility options currently available rely on occasional captioned performances or visiting British Sign Language (BSL) translator, they are not perfect and scheduling these can create gaps. The UK’s National Theatre is leveraging the Epson Moverio BT-350 to describe the dialogue and sound effects happening onstage and provide a more robust accessibility option.

Epson Moverio BT-35E

The smart glasses provide a wearer with their own personal subtitles throughout the performance that follow the users gaze as they move around the stage. These subtitles are not just conversation between the actors but also stage directions informing viewers of additional context to the events on stage. The smart glasses also come with a built-in menu pane which can be accessed throughout a show allowing a user to pick the text size, colour, and placement on the display. Audience members also hold a small trackpad that works like a standard PC cursor and can call for assistance or play a short user tutorial from the menu as well.

Using the Epson Moverio smart glasses to improve accessibility for audience members of live performances is a positive step for the technology and will help make smart glasses more known to a wider consumer audience. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on AR technology in the future so stay tuned for more.

Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses

Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses

Epson has found a new use for its Moverio augmented reality glasses: flying drones with its new Epson Drone Soar augmented reality app.

Epson is releasing the app today to make it easier for drone pilots to navigate the skies while keeping the drone in full view. That’s because you see through the glass to the drone and keep an eye on the glasses’ heads-up display at the same time.

Creative agency YML designed the drone AR app to work with the Epson Moverio BT-300 AR glasses, and I tried it out with a DJI drone in a demo at the SF Drone School on Treasure Island. You can see what the experience was like in both videos embedded in this story.

AR is a promising new technology with a wide array of applications, but it has been slow to take off, and so companies like Epson are putting in a lot of engineering and resources to make apps that can help with consumer adoption.

In this case, Epson’s Moverio AR smart eyewear platform works with the Epson Drone Soar app for DJI drone pilots using the Epson Moverio AR smart glasses platform. It provides AR content, flight telemetry data, and video feed monitoring. I was able to use wear the glasses and see both the drone and an overlay on the screen at the same time. Werner von Stein, founder of the SF Drone School on Treasure Island, gave me a few pointers on how to fly. He got the drone up in the air, and then he handed the controls over to me. (Out on Treasure Island, you can fly drones freely, whereas most other urban areas there are restrictions.)

Epson has been making Moverio AR smart glasses for seven years. A few years ago, it identified drone piloting as a good use case for the glasses. Normally, drones such as the DJI model I flew require you to insert a smartphone or tablet into the controller. But that means that the pilot has to look down to see the drone’s camera view, and then look up to see which direction the drone is actually flying. That makes it very hard to stay on a course or make a maneuver accurately, said Leon Laroue, Epson technical product manager for AR, in an interview with VentureBeat.

On top of that, if there’s bright sunlight, all you see is glare when you look at the smartphone screen. With the Moverio glasses, Laroue clipped on some sunshades and I was able to see much better, looking straight at my drone through the glasses.

“With our glasses and our new app, you can now see exactly where you need to fly,” Laroue said.

Redwood Shores, California-based YML made the app exclusively for the Epson Moverio BT-300 (FPV/Drone Edition). It had to figure out how to create a user interface that worked for pilots, giving them the right amount of data in real time to assist with navigation. You can do things like adjust the camera settings, brightness, and shutter settings or toggle between transparent and first-person modes without ever having to let go of the drone controller, Laroue said. While you are wearing the glasses, you can turn on head tracking to move the drone’s camera and point it in a particular direction. If you let go of a button, you can lock the camera in position.

It can also be used to visualize a route pre-flight and then capture post-flight visualization. The idea is to help DJI improve the safety, productivity, and capabilities of DJI drones for hobbyists and professionals alike.

“This was such a great opportunity to bring what we do in innovative design as an agency to a new kind of application,” said Ashish Toshniwal, CEO of YML, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Hollywood studios could send a scout to a location. The scout can use this drone to capture the images of a location and send it back. It makes life so much more efficient.”

Hands-free, heads-up

Enabling a hands-free, heads-up experience with the Epson Moverio BT-300FPV Drone Edition glasses, the application delivers rich AR features to DJI drone pilots.

This functionality allows pilots to simultaneously see crucial telemetry data, augmented flight tools, and real-time video feeds, while remaining within line-of-sight of their drone. As the data is displayed directly in front of the user, pilots using the Epson Drone Soar app no longer need to look down continuously at their mobile device.

“By combining the power of augmented reality delivered by the Epson Moverio BT-300 and YML’s superlative design, the heads-up app is redefining the way drone enthusiasts experience their aircraft,” said Romsin Oushana of DJI Partnerships, in a statement. “Available to the consumer market for the first time, the app enables users to push the limits of drone piloting in ways that have never been done before.”

The Epson Soar app comes equipped with easy-to-use features including a downloadable map, where a user can select the region of the map they want to download for offline usage.

Pilots can also use it for a pre-flight status check, as it notifies users of flight restrictions or if something needs to be changed before takeoff. It has a Drone Connect feature that gives an easily accessible view of drone vitals including flight status, battery, HD mode, altitude, and more.

Users can select and switch between over ten smart modes for desired flight experience. For instance, I was able to switch the view in my glasses from the transparent view (what I saw through the glasses) to the first-person view that the drone saw from its camera, which was pointed down at the ground. If my aim was to capture footage or take pictures, then I could see exactly what was being captured.

The AR glasses have about a six-hour battery life. The drone, which has a 25-minute battery life, can fly a mile vertically or five miles away. During my demo, it was a hazy day, thanks to all the fires in the region. For a while, I lost sight of my drone. Von Stein showed me where it was.

DJI Drone, Credit: Dean Takahashi

“If there’s any bit of latency in controlling the drone, you can crash it,” Laroue said. “It’s a common issue to lose sight of your drone. So it’s important to be able to keep it in view for as long as possible.”

Later on, the AR glasses will have a “find my drone” arrow that will point to the part of the screen where your drone is flying. Another feature in the works is the ability to see a visualized flight path on the glasses.

“We believe the AR glasses are the optimal mode for piloting drones,” Laroue said.

The app also has In-flight Camera Setting Editing, which lets users edit camera settings of the drone while in flight or when connected to select optimal settings for shooting conditions.

The Epson Soar app is the second application from YML, a creative technology agency, in a series of aerial augmented reality applications developed in partnership with DJI and Epson.

The app for Epson Moverio BT-300 smart glasses is available now on the Moverio Apps Market and can be experienced today at most DJI Authorized Retail stores and many local drone retailers.

Fortunately, DJI has a one-button control for landing the drone. Wearing the glasses, you can toggle through the menu and press a button, enabling the autopilot to take over and land the drone. And that’s why I didn’t crash my drone.

This post by Dean Takahashi originally appeared on VentureBeat.

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Epson’s AR Flight Simulator App Awarded 1st Place In AUVSI XCELLENCE Award

Epson, provider of the Moverio augmented reality (AR) smart eyewear platform have revealed that it received an XCELLENCE Award by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). This award was given to the company after they were selected from a pool of accomplished applicants. The award was given for the company’s AR Flight Simulator app for the Epson Moverio BT-300 (FPV/Drone Edition) smart glasses.

Epson logo

Designed and optimized for drone pilot training, the app allows for users to fly a 3D digital drone in the world using flight controllers from the latest DJI drones. Able to offer a natural, real-world control system to that of their real-world counterparts, the AR Flight Simulator app is ideal for new and returning pilots to learn to fly, sharpen their skills and develop new techniques within a immersive environment.

“The unmanned systems industry is innovating at an incredible rate and creating tremendous benefits for our economy, lifestyle, and society,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “The AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards recognize the companies and individuals who are propelling the industry into the future.”

The AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards honor innovators in the unmanned systems industry, including individuals and organizations, with a demonstrated commitment to advancing technology, leading and promoting safe operations, and developing new programs and applications that use unmanned system as a means to improve the human condition. The work by Epson ticks all those boxes and clearly shows why their have been awards it.

“With the Epson Moverio BT-300 Drone Edition smart glasses and Flight Sim app, Epson is looking to revolutionize the industry with the ability to create a safer and more productive flight, enhancing the flight experience for drone pilots,” said Eric Mizufuka, Manager, Augmented Reality Solutions, Epson America. “This is an exciting achievement that showcases our dedication to innovating new AR solutions and accelerates the industry forward.”

As the unmanned systems industry continued to developer at rapid speeds, it is a growing need for highly effective and immersive training applications to ensure continued development and safety grows with the industry. The work by companies such as Epson will play a key role in shaping the future of the sector. VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest from Epson in the future, so stay tuned for more.

Epson Collaborate With Crestec For AR Tours

Epson have been working with a number of other firms to deliver content for its line of Moverio augmented reality (AR) smartglasses. The company is now working with Crestec to bring the PORECT AR software to the Moverio line in order to provide group AR experiences.

By linking together a tablet, portable wi-fi router and Moverio smartglasses, it will be possible for AR content to be simultaneously displayed on participants glasses by utilising the PORECT AR software.

Epson and Crestec say this technology is a perfect fit for tour guides, or to enhance fan experiences, or to display additional information at a trade show or demonstration. The PORECT AR platform can be used by businesses to offer a new way to display content. Companies will be able to use the software to create their own AR tour experiences without needing custom software tools.

“At Crestec, our goal is to provide exceptional group AR experiences and we knew that our platform is only as good as the hands-free wearable device that is distributing the content,” said Michael Fleder, director of creative engineering, Crestec. “We chose the Epson Moverio smart glasses, not only because it is currently the most widely available smart glasses in the U.S., but because of its top-of-the-line Si-OLED displays.”

“In the past, many end-users have expressed interest in wanting to build their own AR tour experiences without the cost for custom software development,” said Michael Leyva, product manager, augmented reality solutions, Epson. “Through our collaboration with Crestec, together we’re empowering companies to do just that, by providing the availability of an easy-to-use, scalable Group AR tour creation and publishing solution through PORECT.”

The technology will be on display at the InforComm 2018 conference, with attendees able to see a first-hand demonstration by visiting the Epson booth, #C2220 on 8th-9th June. Further information on the PORECT platform can be found on the Crestec website.


For future coverage of new VR and AR products and services, keep checking back with VRFocus.

Epson Partners With AR Company ByondXR

Epson has been working on promoting and developing its line of augmented reality (AR) smartglasses, the Moverio, for a while. The company is seeking to give the hardware a boost with some now content from AR software company ByondXR.

ByondXR have integrated the Moverio AR SDK into its platform, allowing for developers and content creators to easily bring their work to the Moverio by using a web-based editor.

Epson Moverio BT-350

In many cases, high development costs can be off-putting for developers, particularly in the immersive technology market, which has not reached maturity yet. The two companies believe that ByondXR’s Immersive Suite offers a fast and intuitive 360-degree editor along with an enterprise level content management system which makes creating new immersive experiences easier.

“Whether we’re building our own features or collaborating with other innovative platforms such as Epson Moverio glasses, ByondXR is committed to the advancement of the immersive media industry and finding new ways to support our headset partners,” said Noam Levavi, co-founder and CEO of ByondXR. “Deployment of the Epson Moverio AR SDK gives us a unique opportunity to provide brands and businesses with tools to develop dynamic, interactive AR content.”

“ByondXR’s platform is truly innovative in that it lowers the barriers to entry for AR content creation and can be applied to any industry, representing a global market opportunity,” said Leon Laroue, software manager, augmented reality solutions, Epson America. “By combining the Epson Moverio AR SDK with ByondXR’s platform, our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for businesses to fill the world with new AR content and ultimately redefine the future of how AR content can be created and viewed.”

The ByondXR web-based editor and the Moverio AR SDK will be demonstrated at the Augmented World Expo (AWE), along with the previously released AR Flight Simulator app at the Epson booth #618.

Epson logo

AWE 2018 is taking place from 30th May – 1st June, 2018 at Santa Clara, California. Further news and developments from the event will be here on VRFocus.

Epson Adds Biometrics to its MOVERIO AR Smart Glasses Platform

Epson’s Moverio range of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses offer a range of uses, from industrial applications to drone flying and sports. Today, the company has announced a partnership with Bedrock Biometrics to bring its PalmID solution to the AR platform.

Epson Moverio BT-350

With this collaboration both Epson and Redrock Biometrics are looking to push both AR and virtual reality (VR) technology forward by introducing biometric authentication for a consumer AR headset. At the same time they’ll provide a software development kit (SDK) for developers to build biometrics into their videogames and applications.

“Epson collaborated with Redrock Biometrics to create an even more attractive platform for developers to create new games and applications,” said Leon Laroue, technical product manager at Epson America in a statement. “The ability to use biometric authentication opens the door to increased interactivity without disrupting the AR experience.”

PalmID uses the front facing camera built into the MOVERIO BT-300 Smart Glasses to convert the palm image into a unique signature, authenticating the user in less time than it takes to enter a password. In addition to a device unlock app for current MOVERIO BT-300 users, the PalmID SDK enables MOVERIO developers to build AR applications with secure biometric authentication for features such as secure sign in, in-app purchases and access security-sensitive assets.

“When using augmented or virtual reality headsets the face and eyes are covered and therefore not available for authentication. Fingerprint scanners require additional hardware built into the headset and blindly swiping, making them inconvenient and error prone. Palm-based biometrics provides the ideal combination of security and user experience for these devices,” adds Hua Yang, co-founder and CEO of Redrock Biometrics. “Epson has been a pioneer in AR, continuously pushing the industry forward. The PalmID SDK is another big step in bringing hands-free AR experiences to the masses.”

MOVERIO BT-300 users can download the PalmID app for free via the MOVERIO Apps Market. As for developers interested in PalmID, you’ll need to contact Redrock Biometrics. For any further updates from Epson, keep reading VRFocus.

DJI and Epson Fly High With New AR Drone App

Epson have a history of working with drone manufacturer DJI to publish apps and videogames suitable for pairing Epson’s Moverio line of smartglasses with DJI’s drones. That partnership continues with the release of a new augmented reality (AR) drone app.

The aim of the new app is to provide better safety and productivity when piloting DJI drones using Moverio smartglasses. With drones becoming increasingly popular, both for hobbyists and professional use, learning how to get the best out of them is a worthwhile goal.

The Epson AR Flight Simulator App was developed by Epson to allow users to fly a digital 3D version of a drone in the real world using the flight controllers from the recent line of DJI drones, such as the Mavic Pro, Phantom 4, Inspire 2 and Spark. The simulator aims to mimic the smooth, natural movements of the DJI Mavic Pro, allowing rookie pilots to learn how to properly pilot a drone effectively.

In order to use the app, users will need a compatible drone first of all. Then they will need to connect to a stable WiFi connection, turn on the Moverio smartglasses, remove the propellers from the drone, turn on the aircraft and remote controllers, plug the controller into the Moverio and select the Epson AR Flight Simulator from the Moverio display in order to launch the app.

The Epson AR Flight Simulator app is available from the Epson Moverio app store. Also newly available on the Moverio app store is DronePrix AR, developed by Edgybees. Similar to Epson AR Flight Simulator, DronePrix AR allows drone pilots to practice their skills by piloting a drone through an AR mid-air obstacle course.

DronePrix AR has over 30 courses to master in single player mode, along with a multi-player mode that allows users to connect with other drone pilots all over the world to test their skills against each other and find out who is the drone pilot ace.


Further news on Epson AR apps and other news and innovative AR projects will be right here on VRFocus.

Epson Collaborate With ARtGlass, Will Use AR To Bring Us History To Life

We’ve already seen the immersive power of augmented reality (AR) being used to bring traditional experiences to life. Whether it’s print journalism like TIME or the New York Times adapting to the new technology, or NUSHU brining news and history to life for children, AR is changing the way we immerse ourselves in media. To take things one step further, Epson are collaborating with ARtGlass to make historic sites and monuments in the United States more immersive, educational and interesting than ever before.

Epson Moverio BT-2200

Epson’s Moverio line of AR smart glasses will be the ones powering the new AR experiences. They’re the natural choice for ARtGlass, who are the pioneer for AR storytelling and cultural enhancement software. The new partnership will see landmarks such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon and James Monroe’s Highland.

Greg Werkheiser is ARtGlass co-founder and CEO, and he’s excited to enhance education on culture and history with AR; “When we first launched ARtGlass in Italy, we knew that if we could overcome the challenges of bringing wearable AR tours to the Old World, we’d be ready for the New World. We are thrilled now to help revolutionize cultural tours at U.S. sites.”

Werkheiser continued; “U.S. museums and cultural sites attract more visits annually than pro sporting events and theme parks combined. The future of history is bright.”

You can view a sample of the tour of James Monroe’s Highland embedded below, giving viewers an idea of how AR is implemented into the tour experience. Users will be able to better visualise time period accurate furnishings and rituals through the power of AR, making the tour a far deeper and more educational experience.

Anna Jen is the director of augmented reality solutions at Epson, and she said of the partnership; “From the beginning, it was our intention to deliver real-world, near-term benefits to the public through the Moverio AR smart glasses. ARtGlass software and strategies, coupled with our glasses, will enable millions of visitors to U.S. historic sites to enjoy transformative experiences.”

We’ll have all of the latest news on sites where you can experience Epson’s AR technology and where ARtGlass are enhancing experiences as and when they happen, so to be up to date with the future of technology, make sure to keep reading VRFocus.

George Washington’s Home Is Getting An AR Tour

George Washington’s Home Is Getting An AR Tour

The homes of Presidents George Washington and James Monroe are getting AR tours by way of Epson’s Moverio glasses.

The tours are a production of ARtGlass, a company working to bring augmented reality to mainstream “cultural” tourism.  Monroe’s historic home, known as Highland, is the first place to launch the AR tours with Washington’s Mount Vernin coming online this spring. Visitors can see “3D holograms, videos, pictures and text” mixed in with real-world artifacts.

According to ARtGlass, the company has already provided similar experiences at museums, palaces and ruins in Europe.

“From the beginning, it was our intention to deliver real-world, near-term benefits to the public through the Moverio AR smart glasses,” said Anna Jen, director of augmented reality solutions, Epson, in a prepared statement. “ARtGlass software and strategies, coupled with our glasses, will enable millions of visitors to U.S. historic sites to enjoy transformative experiences.”

Check out the video for a sense of what the experience aims to offer.

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