We’re living a moment where virtual and augmented reality are becoming two serious future investment as technology has reached a point where we can imagine how our lives could be improved if we merge our reality with virtual elements to help us in our everyday tasks.
It’s at this point where ACCEPT appears to offer this technology to the construction industry having as aim improve building and reviewing processes efficiency using augmented reality.
To achieve this we had to select an augmented reality device present in the actual market. And finally we chose Epson Moverio BT-200 as it appeared as the most reliable device and the most adequate one to be used in industry processes.
Our experience using these Smart glasses allow us to give some feedback as a pros and cons list.
Pros: it’s a really impressive device with great functionality and it can be developed as any common Android device, allowing any mobile developer to build their own applications in a common way. Its brightness, volume and 2D/3D mode controls are very comfortable and the touchable peripheral device offers the user an experience very similar to use smartphone.
Cons: in the other part the device has much to improve. Its weight must be reduced to allow a continuous comfortable use and reduce ears and noise pain, the battery should have a capacity that could allow you to use the glasses for 8 hours in intensive use. The camera has a terrible resolution and that fact affects near any aspect of the augmented reality marker recognition. The screen has a great size, but at the end users expect to cover their full vision and not to be focused on a centered screen, allowing this to add UI in a more ranged space.
Maybe these aspects make you think that these kind of devices are not ready for the market but far of this we must think this is a technology is constantly evolving and Epson has announced a new device for after summer so these aspects will be improved in the next months!
Developing for Epson Moverio
The development process is a funny and comfortable work, as we said you can use any technology which allows you to build an Android app so you have an impressive amount of tools that you can use. Actually, we are using Unity as it offers the possibility of building cross-platform multimedia apps in a fast way and has great compatibility with most of augmented reality frameworks in the market. Among all of these frameworks we chose Vuforia to achieve the augmented reality part of the project.
When we develop for smart glasses we must think about a simple and usable user interface which not disturbs the user to aim the main focus of the app. This may sound as it’s something that we should care in any app for any device, but as Smart-glasses allow a new way to interact with technology we must be especially careful.
The augmented reality works really well on the Smart-glasses and if we add the functionality to allow us to use the app without using your hands and using a different control system as voice recognition it really becomes a sweet that opens a door to a new kind of apps, a new kind of apps where our CoOpApp demo is working right now.