[CES] Seiko Epson Exhibits Light-weight Smart Glasses

Jan 10, 2014
Tadashi Nakamichi, Nikkei Electronics
The "BT-200"
The "BT-200"
[Click to enlarge image]
The "PS-500" and "PS-100" wearable devices
The "PS-500" and "PS-100" wearable devices
[Click to enlarge image]

Seiko Epson Corp had a press event Jan 6, 2014, on its products to be exhibited at 2014 International CES, which is the world's largest trade show on home electronics and runs from Jan 7 to 10, 2014, in Las Vegas, the US.

At the event, the company announced the "BT-200" see-through glasses-like device and the "PS-500" (watch type) and "PS-100" (wristband type) pulse rate/activity meters.

The glasses-like device is the successor to the "BT-100," which was released in 2011. Though the BT-200 and BT-100 have the same pixel count of 950 x 540, the weight of the BT-200's headset unit is 88g, which is much lower than that of the BT-100's headset (240g). Both of them come with an Android-based controller equipped with a touch-pad, rechargeable battery, etc, but Seiko Epson added new features to the BT-200 for applications software.

Specifically, Seiko Epson added a camera, gyroscopes, acceleration sensors, GPS, microphone input, etc. For example, it became possible to read a QR code with the camera, show a virtual reality in accordance with the movements of the user's head and other body parts by using the gyroscopes and acceleration sensors.

"Both the headset and controller units are equipped with a gyroscope and acceleration sensor," the company said.

Currently, Seiko Epson is developing applications software in collaboration with its partner companies and considering making an SDK available to the public and offering an "application market." It plans to release the BT-200 at a price of US$699.99 in the US in March 2014.

In addition, Seiko Epson will exhibit watch-type (PS-500) and wristband-type (PS-100) wearable devices equipped with pulse rate and activity meters. The only functional difference between the two devices is that the PS-500 has an LCD display while the PS-100 does not.

The pulse meter was realized by emitting a green light from LEDs and detecting changes in blood flow based on the reflected light. The PS-500 and PS-100 are scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014 at prices of US$199 and US$129, respectively.